“I come from a very strong line of women and as women in my culture, we celebrate all parts of being a woman. Especially, the very special function that allows us women to birth life. This cycle is treasured in my family which, traditionally, we perform a smoking ceremony to those who have become of age and has received their monthly flow of blood from the body. This painting is about my smoking ceremony of when I had become of age and when I had felt most spiritually connected with my mother, aunts and grandmothers. It reflects the strength in my family and how amazing a women’s body works and the privileges and responsibilities young girls have been given. It is important that we empower and strengthen our women and young girls, in particular, those who suffer from pain, are incapable of becoming pregnant due to vaginal diseases, those who chose to control birth and eliminate their periods.
Centred is a uterus and vaginal area which is called ‘’nyria’’ in Pitjantjatjara language, Pronounced (new-ra). Around the uterus is a gathering of my family coming together and connected through pathways from different areas of south Australia sitting around the fire. The symbol of women sitting with a digging stick, traditionally represents the responsibility to nurture and gather local foods for the babies. As they are separated from the gathering in the centre, it represents my extended family who support me from a distance. Circled dots represent the lands where we source our food, water and shelter and which we live on. I have divided the painting with 2 shades of pink as this represents the two-family lines I come from and how they have gathered for my becoming of age.”