Born in Gilgandra in Western New South Wales (NSW), Maree commenced painting in 1994. Her paintings depict stories mainly from her father’s Biripi country, located on the Mid North Coast of NSW.
Her unique style of painting includes traditional Biripi saltwater spirits, foods and medicines such as dolphins, crabs, sharks, pipis and saltwater plants.
Maree's work has been much sought after both locally, in her home town of Newcastle, and internationally. Her commissioned work has found its way to America, Finland and Italy. The demand for her paintings has placed Maree at the leading edge of the Aboriginal contemporary art movement.
My name is Saretta Fielding. I am a Wanaruah woman, born in Sydney to an Aboriginal (Wanaruah) father and a European mother. I have enjoyed the benefits of growing up in a large, extended, close-knit family. Much of my work is influenced by family connection, relationships and the beauty of this country.
I have always painted, drawn and experimented in a variety of art mediums, as art has long been a passion for me. I love the challenge of conveying to others, through art, how I am influenced by people, life experiences, and natures beauty.
In my artwork, I aim to evoke emotion, enhance connection to spirit and country, and invite the viewer to ponder, dig deeper and experience something new.
Craig describes himself as a descendant of the Wanaruah people – a proud Aboriginal nation from the Hunter Valley region of NSW.
Through his art Craig anigunya* you to the diversity and richness of the land of his ancestors, an area of mountain ranges and deep valleys, life-giving rivers and estuaries that have provided abundance for all the Nations of the Hunter region.
Each of Craig's paintings is a story that unfolds before your eyes, bringing the ancient culture of the Wanaruah people to life in today’s modern world. But more than that, Craig’s paintings are also a journey of his own self discovery as he reconnects with his cultural heritage. (*Anigunya is a Wanaruah word that translates as "welcome".)
Les is member of the Nunnawunna Clan Group belonging to the Ainiwain Language Nation of the Northern Tablelands area of New England, NSW. His cultural knowledge is extensive and reflective.
He is well known for his cultural knowledge and as a presenter of such knowledge. His paintings depict sacred stories of the travels and creations of his traditional Nunnawunna Clan.
As an artist, Les is known for his distinctive sand paintings representing his country and his ‘Spiritual Dreaming’. Les is often commissioned for his unique ‘family portraits’ which he produces in consultation with family members using traditional symbols and contemporary images.
Born in 1974 in Whyalla, South Australia, Thomas' traditional lines are from the Barngala clan. Thomas spent 26 years in Katherine, Northern Territory, and the influence of the Territory's wet season permeates his art.
Thomas now resides in Newcastle, NSW. His paintings depict the formation and constant change of our country, they reflect his life experiences, are steeped in cultural significant, and embody culturally significant elements such as fire, water, sea animals, land animals, and especially numbadda (whale). Thomas' paintings are the interpretations of stories handed down by his elders past and present and allow him to teach his children and enable them to build on their identity as Barngala people.
Debbie Becker is an award-winning artist living in the Upper Hunter. She is a descendant of the Wanaruah people from the Hunter Valley Region of New South Wales.
Inspired by the work of other Aboriginal artists, Debbie has learnt to use traditional symbols and modern techniques to not only explore her own culture but to share her journey with others.
Having studied art and the "masters", Debbie's work is both highly evolved and incredibly expressive. It allows her to express her culture and keep the rich tapestry of her Aboriginal history alive whilst helping people from non-Aboriginal backgrounds to learn more about culture. Debbie's work is a fusion of traditional and Western influences and the results are spectacular.
Denise Hedges was born and raised in Singleton in the Hunter Valley just as her ancestors were before her.
Denise's family has a close cultural tie to the land of the Wanaruah people, a connection that she expresses through her art. Alive with colour and symbolism, Denise's paintings reflects her deep-rooted connection to the land.
"I have been painting for many years" says Denise. "I use my art to share my love of my culture by educating others on the richness of Aboriginal life in the Hunter Valley."
Jodie Herden, a Gomeroi woman women from Tamworth NSW, is a contemporary Aboriginal Artist with a passion for connection to country and culture.
Jodie uses bright vibrant colours to showcase her stories and community at both a national and international level. Jodie feels she has been blessed with a passion for art and the ability to tell stories through her art. Through her art she gains a sense of belonging. Her art reflects a strong, vibrant and beautiful culture. Jodie says that sharing that culture is indescribably rewarding.
Ross Smith was born in Condobolin in the Wiradjuri area (Central New South Wales). He lived on the mission at Condobolin with his family as a child, and that is where he started on the road to becoming a traditional Aboriginal craftsman. Ross learned from his family, in the way that skills and heritage are passed down from one Aboriginal generation to the next. His grandfather and his father were both craftsmen, skilled in the art of making boomerangs and other Aboriginal artifacts, and they passed those skills along to Ross as he grew to be a man. His mother was a skilled painter and became one of his main influences in the area of painted art.
Today Ross is married with four children - all of whom have inherited a love of art. Ross believes strongly in the tradition of passing on what he knows and has passed on to all his children all he can in terms of their culture, art and heritage.
Nolan Jasper Simon
I'm a proud Bundjalung man from Tabulam, NSW now based in the Newcastle / Hunter Region, NSW. I'm a self-taught artist with a passion for my culture.
Wupa at Wanaruah is an initiative of Ungooroo Aboriginal Corporation. Wupa allows local artists to showcase their work. Wupa is made possible each year through the assistance of those venues that exhibit our work and the generosity of our sponsors. We would like to thank our sponsors who have supported us over the last ten years and allowed us to make this initiative possible.
This year our artists will be exhibiting at venues such as Hunter Valley Resort, Drayton’s Family Wines, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, Mercure Resort (Hunter Valley Gardens), Glandore Estate Winery, Adina Vineyard, Mercure Resort (Newcastle Airport).