acrylic and alcohol inks on canvas
61 x 61cm
Our maternal line gives birth to each of us, during
what is surely one of the most painful experiences a
human can endure. During pregnancy, women grow
both a new human in their womb, but also an entirely
new organ, the placenta.
It is this power and strength of my maternal
ancestors that inspired this painting. The central
red heart-like shape represents the placenta, which
connects a foetus to its mother and provides all the
oxygen and food that it requires. This shape also
simultaneously references a tree stump, viewed from
above. The tree rings within this shape honour each
generation of my maternal ancestors.
The protrusions extending outward represent the
umbilical cord which was critical to the survival of
my ancestors and the survival of our people.
These protrusions also represent the tree rootswhich
connect all trees in a forest to each other via
In some Aboriginal cultures, birth is seen as the
first ritual in a human’s life. As a key part of this, the
placenta is of both cultural and spiritual significance.