The story behind this artwork by local Aboriginal artist Vicki Golding is located in the harbour of Sydney traditionally in the dharug country(ngura) whereas these boats are coming from the gadigal country passing through neighbouring clans around the harbour to go to warrangal country (Nura) “Manly”.
As we travel from here to there we have guidance from the ancestors and spirit animal totems such as the stingray(Dar-ing-yan), guriwal the whale and holds many fishes (Magura). The canoes (narwi) represent the ancestors guiding the boats safely to get people to and from their journeys.
The meeting places on the corner of this artwork represents the ancestors home and ceremonial residence to hunt and gather food from land and waters (ghadu).
My name is Vicki Golding and i am a saltwater Biripi woman form the north coast NSW. I was born and raised in Sydney on Gadigal country and spent my childhood growing up in Redfern. I now live in Malabar on Bidjigal country where i continue to work as an independent artist.
I have been painting since i was a child living in the Aboriginal community known back then as “the block”. I learned much about my culture and identity through art practices and am passionate about creative storytelling of contemporary experiences and representations of Indigenous people. I have been commissioned by many organizations over my years of painting including ABC, Redfern Aboriginal Corporation, NRL wests Tigers Indigenous jersey, Johnathan Thurston’s headgear for 3 years on a row for the Indigenous All Stars and other local organizations.
I generally paint on canvas with acrylic paints and have learned other mediums such as digital illustrations which enhance new representations of contemporary culture and modern technologies. My work aims to highlight culture, place and history, and i often use cultural iconography from my own lineage as a way of storytelling.