Come online and join mother & daughter artist team, Lorraine Brigdale (Yorta Yorta) and Annie Brigdale (Yorta Yorta), in an exploration of sourcing art materials from nature using ochres and minerals to make your own natural nontoxic paints and art materials.
Lorraine will guide you through her own process of bringing together different knowledge systems to create her handmade paints.
Take this free opportunity to connect with a circle of artists to talk about your own experiments, questions around materials and the Ancestral knowledge of natural elements in art making.
We welcome all interested Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists into this culturally safe space for knowledge sharing, problem solving and connection lead by Lorraine and Annie.
This is a Professional Development session for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders only.
About Lorraine Brigdale
An award winning artist, my art practice has been my home, my safe place, my heart, my escape. I’ve explored many media and processes leading me to ‘now’, where I work full time on my art practice and confine my art materials to those made by myself, from the earth. I paint with ochres, minerals and botanical Inks made by me for my use in my art. To speak of my work with ochre is to speak of my ancestors, my heart, my family, my people, my country.
There is something mystical about preparing ochre and painting with it. A sense of peace and timeless-ness descends, it moves me toward ‘deep listening’. ‘Gulpa Ngawal’ – Deep Listening (in Yorta Yorta language). My professional life was always design oriented, working as a creative in the corporate world, took me all over the world, exploring design and relationships of peoples, their culture and art in diverse areas such as South Asian and European destinations. In these years I was also learning about my Aboriginal family and my culture, this started to answer the many questions I always had.
My family story is a part of a contemporary Australian conversation of family, place & connection is never far from my heart. Working with ochre restores me to this history and to my heart. An experimental artist, my art practice has changed direction throughout my life, but painting, clay work and weaving have been an ongoing part my creative stable. I’m a proud Yorta Yorta woman, from a young girl making images in the sand, I went on to explore my creative spirit wherever it took me in life. My recent creative journey & my exploration of my Aboriginal family is undeniably linked.
My ochre/art experiments developed alongside a growing knowledge surrounding my Aboriginal family and culture, bringing me a sense of meaning and belonging. My art works are made with hand-foraged and hand-prepared earth materials, pigments created from hand ground ochres, minerals & mica, and using Australian Acacia Gum resin as binder in a recipe from the early European Watercolour Masters. I take my inspiration from my country and my Ancestors. Using ochre to make paint, I learn its language and how it behaves in a contemporary exploration of an age-old medium. As a visual artist my creative response to country in the form of painting with the earth leads me to create paintings that tell the story of my journey, in an artistic urge coming from my ancestral memory, my paintings reflect the true colours of Country and nature, of my love of this land.
Having my hands in ochre, many thousands of years in the making, connects me directly to the Ancestors. I’m using materials from Country, exploring how ochres combined with other minerals work as a contemporary art medium and I create paintings in my way, telling my story. Ochre links me intimately with my Ancestors, it’s my Country’s way of calling me home.
We acknowledge the generous support of our public programming partners: Viva Energy Australia and Krystyna Campbell-Pretty and Family.
Photo: Libby Noblett, 2021, Lorraine Brigdale's workshop at the Bendigo Art Gallery, Sourcing Materials from Country.