By the Y, for the Y

Q+A with First Nations Artist Robin Conlon

April 20 2022 – Ben Santamaria

Q+A with First Nations Artist Robin Conlon
Q+A with First Nations Artist Robin Conlon

Ahead of this year's NAIDOC week (July 3-10), Y Gear is pleased to have collaborated with First Nations artist Robin Conlon - a descendant of Kullilli, Wakka Wakka, Koa and Kabi Kabi Nations.

This collaboration continues our ongoing relationship with First Nations artists as we continue this journey together.

Robin’s incredible artwork depicts circles that represent campuses and wider community. The pathway is the link to the school which strives to support their students in their journey.

The boomerang shapes on the outer represent the ongoing work behind the scenes to make the work happen for the organisation.

We were fortunate enough to hear from the artist in a Q+A about his background and the artwork.

 
Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your background?
I am an Aboriginal man and a descendant of Kullilli, Wakka Wakka, Koa and Kabi Kabi Nations. I am one in a big family of fifteen. And I am one of many artists within my extended family.
 
Why do you create art?
For me, art is storytelling and a way to teach. In my downtime, I love capturing stories through art and enjoy engaging others to capture their stories through art as well.


What inspired your latest artwork for the 2022 NAIDOC Tee?
The inspiration comes from the story and journey of the Y’s education system. It explores how the Y interacts with the community, with minorities and with each other to make a difference for our young people.


Can you give a few points on the importance of tradition and culture?
Where do I start!? Culture is the central theme of who we are. The importance of culture for me is identity, belonging, life, values, experience, food, traditions and uniqueness.

How can people learn more about indigenous culture?

  • Don’t be afraid to engage and yarn with Indigenous people
  • Find local Indigenous organisations and people and start conversations
  • Invite Indigenous people into your space
  • Be open minded 
  • Research Indigenous history 
  • Make yourself available for NAIDOC and other significant days that Indigenous people celebrate. To name a few: Sorry Day, Reconciliation Week, Mabo Day etc…

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