Feeling the Country by Michelle Maynard and City of Hobart

Feeling the Country by Michelle Maynard and City of Hobart


I’m creating an artwork for Hobart City Council’s Information Booth in the Elizabeth Mall So Council are looking for it to really have a key welcoming gesture they’ve suggested potential themes around connection journey welcoming. I started to explore well what is it to feel welcome, is there a connection to belonging, you know, what is it to feel belonging to place? I really started to think about well, what is it to welcome and particularly in a place like Hobart where we don’t have the original First Nations people here today to be able to you know offer those gestures of welcome. My lineage is I am a saltwater person and so to be at the beach in the sand I feel very peaceful you know, we’re so surrounded by stuff all the time and it can clog up I think sometimes the design process like it’s good to have all that but it’s also good I think and helps me to have those moments of spaciousness out just with nature with no man-made objects, but just, you know being inspired by all the beautiful natural design that’s already out there. I start to have things you know my own I guess internal themes that start to and things I want to explore to start emerging and then I’ll go through a process of mark-making in a variety of forms, whether that be creating a soul collage allowing colors to emerge and very inspired by working with textiles so I’ll often be inspired by that and then I’ll end up with all of these elements that really start to inform the larger layout of where I want the design to go. It’s been a quite amazing to work with Hobart City Council it really has been a team, so I’ve felt really supported, but also the offering that they extended to me, too for some mentoring and working with one of the graphic designers to learn Adobe Illustrator, so that’s been fantastic. You know the country holds an ancient, it’s an ancient knowledge system and it holds all of the memory of everything that has gone before instead of waiting for people to offer a welcome to place can we be open to the idea of asking Country itself if we are welcome to be there, you know what’s the response of the place that we’re in do we feel welcome here? The significance of the project is it’s the first Aboriginal art opportunity the commissioned by Hobart City Council, you know the first of hopefully many and the incredible opportunity it creates for Hobart City Council with building relationship with artists and cultural practitioners.

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