We sat down for a chat with the talented woman behind our latest collaboration, Contemporary Aboriginal Artist, Domica Hill. We talk about her new role as a mother and her connection to her culture.
Let's get into it....
You have very recently become a mother, first of all a massive congratulations to you and your family. Secondly, how is it all going, how has motherhood changed you so far?
Yes, Thank you! Our little Jyka was born on the 24th of June. It sure has been a crazy ride, but we are very much in love with our little man. Motherhood has certainly taught me a lot. I think the biggest change is having someone so dependent on you for every little need. I am so used to getting on a roll and getting things done! I feel like I just get started on doing something around the house and Jyka needs me for something, even if it is just a big cuddle!
Being a proud Palawa woman, could you tell us a little about what that means to you?
To me, being a Palawa woman or a Tasmanian Aboriginal woman is about being connected. Connected to our first peoples, connected to country. I believe my Aboriginality is expressed through 3 main areas – Family, Community, and Land. I am respectful of all of these and dependent on them within my culture. I have a lot to still learn about my mob as I grew up in Townsville, QLD which is very different to mob in Tasmania. It is however so important to connect and support community close by as this keeps our culture strong as we are all one and we all belong to the land.
You have a background in teaching and have been refining your artistic skills for a few years now, (aside from little Jyka) what is your proudest achievement since focusing on your creative passion?
My proudest achievement so far was creating my own Art Exhibition – ‘A Healing Journey’, which consisted of 15 Original Artworks that reflected the journey and challenges I have been through since the loss of my first child Briar.
How/why did you start your artistic journey?
I have always had a passion for art and being creative but with sport and my career in teaching taking control of my life I never really had time to pursue that side. Since lockdown forced me to stop my usual routine and after losing Briar, I soon realised I had a lot of free time. I used Art as a creative healing method as it felt very therapeutic and was helping me deal with the rollercoaster of emotions that was unloaded on me during these hard times.
Stories play a huge role in aboriginal art and culture; how do you find inspiration for your pieces?
It may sound a bit repetitive, but my daughter is my main inspiration and usually is a part of the story behind each piece. I also use family, community, and country as inspiration especially the beautiful Boonwurrung/Bunurong lands on which I live and work.
Whilst we as a country are heading in the right direction as far as acknowledging our first nations people and country, we still have quite a long way to go. What is one thing you would really love to see change or improve as soon as possible?
I think it has already started to change and improve but educating our students about the oldest living culture is so important. I know as a teacher there is a huge chunk of our culture missing from the curriculum as it has always focused on other countries history rather than our own. By creating engaging cultural experiences in schools as well as other platforms, it will go along way in helping people to understand and embrace an Aboriginal perspective of our country.
We are very happy to be donating 5% of all sales to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Being a teacher, education is obviously super important to you, what would you like to see changed or improved with regards to education for indigenous children around Australia?
It would mean so much to see rural communities have the same opportunity regarding numeracy and literacy skills. The opportunity for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids living rural is so far from equal, however by donating to a foundation like this it helps get teachers, educators and resources out to the communities in need and gives the kids more opportunities to create a better future for themselves and their families.