Young talent creates artwork centred on coming together
Posted on May 25, 2023
At just 16 years old Ena Graham, a proud Gooniyandi and Wongi woman, has lent her immense talent to creating a beautiful art piece for Juniper centred upon the importance of coming together.
Commissioned by Juniper for its Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan, the artwork depicts the importance of uniting together across generations to create something great, keeping culture strong.
Painted by Ena, who grew up in Moongardie Community 110km from Fitzroy Crossing and is currently studying art in year 11 at Edmund Rice College, the phenomenal artwork is her first canvas.
“I started in art selling painted Boab nuts at the local Shire’s Saturday markets to community members and the many visitors to Fitzroy Crossing, including DFES during the floods. I’ve got so many orders I can’t keep up!” Ena said.
“Because I’ve never really done canvas before, my Grandma was shocked when she first saw the painting. She was so happy and didn’t realise I could paint like that.”
Boarding during the school term at Bindoon, Ena returns home to Fitzroy Crossing during the school holidays where she feels free, connected to country.
“During the holidays is when I’m able to do my art and I love fishing for bream and cherabin (freshwater prawns),” Ena said.
You can find Ena on Instagram @kimberley_boab.arts.
ABOUT THE ARTWORK
This painting titled “Coming Together” represents just that, this is all people from all language groups coming together on a journey of life and in the centre something great is created. The river is a healing place for us all and the brown swirls in this painting represent this.
The large circles travelling beside the river connected by the white dots and lines represents the journey we take, from being young to old. No matter where we end on country, in community or in aged care home we all need family to connect and look after each other. The centre of the painting is where we unite to keep our culture strong to look after all old people at the end of that journey.
The smaller yellow circles represent life journey as we gather in meeting places sit around the fire, yarning about many things, hunting and gathering, spending time with family and friends. Surrounding all of us is the dreamtime in the stars, the pink dots in the painting represent each story big and small, no matter who we are or where we come from everyone has an important story to tell.
Ena Graham is a proud young Gooniyandi and Wongi woman. Growing up in Moongardie Community, Ena nurtures her talent by studying art at TAFE. She draws inspiration from her culture and the country she grew up on. It’s at home on country that Ena feels truly free. She expresses her creativity through painting on boab nuts she finds locally and on canvas. Art is no stranger to Ena’s family with talent abounding with her Great Grandmother Dora Cox and Grandmother Elizabeth Gilligan, both Gooniyandi women from Moongardie, and Grandfather Dwayne Graham Senior, a Wongi man.