Central Coast artists reflect on their experiences living on Darkinjung country.
The beauty of Darkinjung Country is both obvious and complex. From the intricate textures of bushland flora and natural elements to the spiritual connections of First Nations people with this place. In this joint exhibition of recent work artists Cheryl McCoy and Donella Waters reflect on their experiences living on Darkinjung Country in contemporary woodblock prints and acrylic paintings
“It’s a privilege to live here on Darkinjung Country of the First Nations people. I don’t have to walk far from my home to appreciate the beautiful walks of flora, fauna and still there remain, evidence of their existence on this land for many of thousands of years. In these areas I feel the real spiritual connection of my ancestors. I will try to walk in the pathway of my ancestors and recollect the vision of how they always had a great understanding about flora and fauna, and always maintained a harmonious relationship with the land.”
- Donella Waters
“As a printmaker of Gamilaraay, Dharug, Scottish & Irish descent living on Darkinjung Country I find my inspiration on Country. It is the deep connection and spiritual experiences that drives my mark making. In this exhibition I pay my respects to only a small part of the much larger picture - each artwork reflects my sense of belonging and connection.
I believe we need to honour not just the extraordinary beauty and complexity of Country but open our hearts & minds to what she can tell us. We need to observe and listen - there is much to learn about our place in this symbiotic relationship. We need to take responsibility in partnership with Country to restore her health. Country is waiting for us to respond.”
- Cheryl McCoy
About the Artists
Donella Waters grew up on Toomelah Mission in north west NSW and for the past 17 years has lived on Darkinjung Country. Taught by the elders in her community, Donella learned to create artwork and began exploring her own art style. She is an awarded artist who has exhibited as a finalist in major exhibitions such as the Parliament of NSW Indigenous Art Prize, the Reconciliation Art Prize and the Gosford Art Prize at Gosford Regional Gallery. She has worked as a mentor for young artists on a variety of projects passing on her expertise in art and cultural knowledge and helping students to connect and feel proud to be decedent of the First Nations People.
Cheryl McCoy is a Central Coast artist of Gamilaraay, Dharug, Scottish & Irish descent living on Darkinjung Country. She is trained in printmaking and has exhibited for over a decade including three times as a finaliast in the Gosford Art Prize. She is an active member of The Makers Studio Central Coast Inc. and has been a facilitator for various art projects for Central Coast Council, Regional Youth Support Service, Gudjangang Ngara li-dhi, Aboriginal Corporation since 2017. Her artistic objective is to create meaningful artwork that draws upon life experiences reflecting a connection between the human condition and the broader landscape to evoke inquiry and emotive responses within the viewer.
Image: Detail from Cheryl McCoy, Homage I, woodblock on Hosho. © the artist