Danielle Mate Sullivan
Danielle is a proud Kunja woman, who uses her experiences to inspire her art. She was born in Fairfield, a great distance from Brewarrina where her mother came from. She found an early connection with art while at school. The traditional symbols used in her art are enough to tell the story depicted. She describes that for thousands of years; culturally, Aboriginal people have been using symbolism and artforms to communicate and recount stories, and have not been reliant on the use of labelling and paragraphs of words to share stories.
The artwork shows the Aboriginal person at the centre of the circle. They are surrounded by the team – medical, family and friends – that supports them, shown by the grey people around them. The orange and red blend behind the people is the warmth and positive emotion that connects this team. The different coloured background sections around the outside, represent the country. The footprints represent connection to country, stomping on ground, disturbing the earth and connecting spiritually.
This artwork was commissioned from the late Aunty Cecily Wellington-Carpenter who sadly passed away in late 2020.
Aunty Cecily was a renowned artist, accomplishing over 35 years experience with her artwork acknowledged at the highest levels, having won a National NAIDOC poster competition.
Her passion was always to tell a story, use vibrant colours and saltwater themes.
She has left a significant artist’s mark in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions with many of her pieces featured on public buildings, in publications and at the South Coast Aboriginal Medical Service.
Her family are proud to continue to acknowledge and honour Aunty Cecily’s distinguished artwork and we are honoured to be able to do so on this website.
The style of the artwork is designed to appeal to the younger generation. The overarching message is, “Unity is the most important bond in all cultures”. The artwork depicts six circles of the hospital experience; coming into hospital, assessment, treatment, on the ward, visits by family and the importance of attending follow up appointments with your GP to get healthy. The middle circular designs with connecting paths means your health can go around in circles but there is a road to recovery. The artwork messages the importance of country, community and families in the recovery process. The images are symbolic of the importance of conveying kindness throughout the hospital experience.