The well-known phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” has always undersold art. It is worth so much more.
In Australia, for tens of thousands of years and ongoing today, the distinct, diverse regional artworks of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been a way to connect to culture, to Country, to ancestors and to pass down stories and knowledge through the generations.
As part of our ongoing reconciliation journey, and as part of our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan, we asked artist Dixon Patten, a proud Yorta Yorta and Gunnai man who was born and raised in what is now known as Melbourne, to create a piece of art that symbolised the importance of reconciliation and our journey as part of the reconciliation movement.
The artwork Dixon has created represents two-way learning, cultural strength and resilience, and valuing culture.
As Dixon explains, “the U-shaped symbols represent Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people working together to implement policy and strategy from Intrepid’s previous Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan. The centred circle represents knowledge and the ripple effects that two-way learning can have on the broader community. The pathways are pointed to four corners and symbolises Aboriginal knowledge being shared with the world. The shields represent resilience and strength; this is provided through cultural principles and teachings, and the strength of Aboriginal people who are the oldest living culture in the world. The smaller circles represent different communities across the Country. The hands represent our ancestors, guiding us on our journey(s).”
Dixon, the Creative Director and Lead Artist/Graphic Designer of Bayila Creative, is just one of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices that we are committed to profiling and amplifying in our storytelling. He has over 10 years’ experience in the arts and design space as an artist, curator and graphic designer, who draws his influence from his connection to his culture and family. He is passionate about storytelling in all its forms and loves the information, wisdoms, knowledge and energy exchange that unites us and bridges the gap between people(s). Bayila Creative is a 100% Aboriginal-owned business and was founded in our hometown of Melbourne (Narrm) and, established with the intention of providing a platform to bring forth Indigenous culture, art and stories to the corporate world, and to interpret the Aboriginal community’s creative needs in an organic way. Bayila is the Yorta word for Red Gum. Just like the ‘Red Gum’, Bayila has its feet firmly planted in the ground. Bayila’s values mirror the Aboriginal cultural principles of respect, listening, sharing and connection.
Intrepid Travel acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises their ongoing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and future, and support the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices.