• Gillawarra Arts

    October 8, 2020 • LIFE, STORIES

    Krystal Hurst is a proud Worimi woman who grew up on the banks of Taree’s Manning River and the beautiful salty sea on the Mid-North Coast where she spent her childhood fishing, swimming and gathering seafood at Forster and many coastal inlets around Taree. This place is Krystal’s home, the home of her Ancestors and the place where Kristal’s parents began Gillawarra Arts in 1983.

    Krystal now lives and works on Ngunnawal Country in Canberra for National Parks by day and by night she paints and designs jewellery to carry on the family tradition. Surrounded by arts and culture since she was a wonai (child), art has become Krystal’s identity and passion. It’s an extension of who she is, where she has come from and who she belongs to.

    “I feel sometimes the voices of First Nations people are not heard, valued or deeply understood. Through my arts, I hope it inspires and it educates to make a lasting impact in our communities by keeping our stories, language and culture alive.”

    Krystal’s handmade jewellery uses natural materials and draws on nature, culture, and her heritage for inspiration. Each piece tells a story such as the Gillawarra Arts Coolamon Earrings which are inspired by the importance of Coolamons for Aboriginal women. The patterns represent sand dunes and the footprints Ancestors made over the coastline for thousands of years.

    “Aboriginal art is not just art; it is our identity, an extension of every essence of who we are which transcends time and space. My pieces speak of the sky, land, rivers and sea and sing our memories, language and our culture that is strong and thriving,” says Krystal.

     

    With each piece Kristal creates, a piece of her lives on. “When you share aspects of your culture, you are sharing a part of you. An identity of a thousand voices echoing through the land, and within you. An identity flowing through the bloodstream of your spirit. The stories of our ancestors speak and live on by the rhythm of our tongue. We must not stop the rhythm of storytelling,” says Krystal.

    Respecting the cultural philosophy passed down through generations to ‘tread lightly, only leave footprints and only take what you need’ inspires Krystal to produce sustainable art and jewellery. The materials used to make Gillawarra Arts earrings are ethically sourced from Australian farms and retailers, and packaging is 100 per cent environmentally friendly.

    “How we live and be on the land is to leave as little damage as possible, don’t be greedy but share with the heart and think of others and future generations.”

    Shop Gillawarra Arts here >

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