Home Arts / Culture Bundjalung stories: our art, our connection to country.

Bundjalung stories: our art, our connection to country.


An exhibition in May at the Lismore Regional Gallery by students from Lismore’s primary public schools displayed local Bundjalung stories told by Bundjalung artist – Uncle Digby Moran. Digby shared his stories of his childhood growing up on Cabbage Tree Island. Depicted in the art are Digby’s adventures with his family while searching for seafood, and his fascination with the local dolphins who visited the river. Having spent time with Digby, the budding young artists are Bundjalung students from six schools around Lismore, and the paintings were produced in 2015.

The title of the exhibitionBundjalung stories: our art, our connection to country.

Let’s take a look at some of the paintings shall we:

TOTEM NATION 2015: Wyralla Road Public School artists:  CJ King, Madison Stanford-King, Braeden Williams & Tamsyn Phipps.

Acrylic on canvas:

This painting represents our local land and sea totems coming together. The hands with the land animals, represent our culture and ourselves.

The four artists’ totems are incorporated into the design. The turtles are swimming on the deep sea, with the dolphins in the shallow water, leaving trails of bubbles behind them.

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 9.46.48 AM

CATCH FISH 2015: Albert Park Public School artistsShaniquea, Dwayne, Hanaya, Tyrell, Jerahkye & Clinton.

Acrylic on canvas:

Catch Fish depicts Bundjalung men with their nets and boats catching fish. Legend says that the men would beat the water with their spears to attract the dolphins. As the dolphins swam closer, they drove fish towards the shore, assisting the catch.

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 9.46.58 AM

CONNECTEDNESS 2015: Lismore South Public School artists: Seth Woodcroft, Shanaya Anderson, Coby Clapham, Jack Latham, Deserae Dalu & BJ Franke.

Acrylic on canvas:

The artwork, Connectedness, was inspired by Digby Moran’s connection to the environment and the interconnection between land, sea, plants and animals. The students included all of these aspects in their artwork because of their relevance and importance to Digby’s life.

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Ian’s journey into journalism began back in Sydney in 1991 while studying to become a radio and television copywriter. He has completed courses in cartooning, environmental science and later turned his attention to Indigenous education, working with many language groups across Australia. Ian’s passion is writing about culture. He continues to release free ebooks of his journeys into SE Asia and across Australia for his website @IanBrowneAcademia. Blessed with both an investigative and art-creative brain, he finds this planet intriguing and adores nature. He craves the exotic, and searches out intense landscapes and multifaceted societies. Ian has lived in the Northern Rivers for seven years. “Every day I drive through the forested Nirvana here, it is a bounty of kindness and inspiration. I love the care-free cosmopolitan lifestyle; I cherish the conversations in our cafes. I really enjoy the friendships I have made while interviewing folk and while sharing the lives of people. I feel my journey within journalism and creative writing has just begun and there are thousands of stories out there with my name pasted across them”.


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