‘See Me’ Original Acrylic on canvas 76cm x 91cm © 2018 Tanya Cole (SOLD)
The first in a series of paintings of beautiful Indigenous Australian children.
A trip to Kalumburu, Western Australia by Cessna in my early 20’s, deeply connected my heart and soul with Indigenous Australians and the land. A deep reverence for the people living in the Kimberley’s formed my respect for their spiritual connection to their culture, land and way of life. I believe Indigenous people’s the world over hold the key to each person intuiting and connecting with their own soul, the earth and the universe. If people could truly ‘see’ Indigenous peoples, who they truly are, the gifts of their culture, the depth of their connection to nature & to learn from them…the world would be a better place indeed. When I saw photographer Freedom Garvey -Warr’s images of the children in Kalumburu; I felt a visceral need to paint them. They very much reminded me of the beautiful children who I had met in the early 90’s. Children who approached me with a rawness and authenticity that stopped me in my tracks. It was the first time I really saw someone’s soul in their eyes. There were no guarded protective filters, just openness showing who they were. This acrylic on canvas painting ‘See Me’ is the first in a series of paintings of the children. As I painted this young girl, I connected with her culture, their story and intuited her spirit; whilst recalling the deep fondness found in my memories. As it happened, after I shared an image of this painting on social media, the mother of the man who flew me up to Kalumburu, messaged me to tell me that she recognised her as the granddaughter of a woman who lived and worked at the Kalumburu Mission almost thirty years ago. It was both touching & validating to know that I had captured her likeness in the painting, such that her grandmother was recognisable through the child. As with all faces, and particularly through the eyes…I find that I am compelled to convey the essence of the person, to see their soul and tell a little of their story…in paint.
I am very grateful to the following people for permitting me to paint the children of Kalumburu ~ * Photo Reference Credits: Freedom Garvey-Warr & Kalumburu Photography Collective member Maria Fredericks
This piece is finished on a 100% Cotton canvas with high quality Acrylic paint, as well as sealed with an equally high quality archival varnish. The Artwork is signed front and back.