Making a difference Kalkadoon artist Chern’ee Sutton
21 year old Kalkadoon artist Chern’ee Sutton was filled with pride as she viewed her 14 metre long painting that has taken pride of place in the Athletes village.
Chern’ee who was the Aboriginal artist that created the Indigenous story and designs for Borobi the 2018 Commonwealth Games Mascot said “she hoped that her painting Journey to Gold would inspire the athletes in their quest for gold during the games with the boomerang and spear representing the battles that will take place on the sporting fields and arenas”.
The painting which took over 6 months to complete has over 20,000 fingerprints from dignitaries and all the volunteers that came through the Volunteer Selection Centre as part of their induction. Chern’ee said “the concept behind this significant artwork was for the volunteers to be recognised by the athletes for their contribution to the games and to also create a lasting legacy for not only the volunteers but for the whole Gold Coast community”
Chern’ee said “after the games this artwork is being gifted to the new Arts and Cultural Precinct so that the whole Gold Coast Community and tourists can enjoy the artwork and story for many years to come”
“Journey to Gold”
My name is Chern’ee Sutton and I am a contemporary Aboriginal artist from the Kalkadoon people from the Mount Isa area in Queensland. This painting is called “Journey to Gold” and it represents the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
My painting represents a topographic view of the East Coast of Australia from Cairns to the Gold Coast with the 4 middle panels representing a topographic view of the Gold Coast with the large blue and white community symbol in the centre representing the Gold Coast community and people. The 6 yellow and orange community symbols represent the 6 main buildings of the Commonwealth Games athlete’s village.
Within the 4 centre panels the top right of my painting represents the past with the background painted in traditional ochres and browns with the handprints telling the world we have a rich history full of culture and tradition with a connection to our lands for over 60,000 years. The animals represent the many diverse species that call the Gold Coast home with the large rainbow serpent reminding us of our past paying tribute to the world’s oldest continual living culture – Indigenous Australians and also to the world’s oldest living belief the rainbow serpent.
The boomerang and spear represents the battles that will take place on the sporting fields and the single community symbol in the traditional area represents Australia with Borobi’s footprints beginning his journey from the Dreamtime.
The section around the centre represents the present with the colours bright and vibrant with borobi’s footprints walking around the Gold Coast visiting the events as they take place leaving the story of the Commonwealth Games imprinted in the sand behind him.
The 70 green community symbols represent each Commonwealth country that is participating in the games. Each community symbol has a man and women athlete that then travel to the Gold Coast and start their “Journey to Gold”.
All Commonwealth Countries are connected as one under our Southern Cross which lights up the night sky and the many fingerprints represent the volunteers that make these games possible, without their contribution to these games our nation would not shine.