I belong to the Yuin / Eora tribes of NSW. We also belong to the largest Aboriginal tribe on the south coast, we are sea dwellers and our life revolves around the ocean, hunting and gathering seafood.
Growing up in this lifestyle and family has influenced the style and subjects of my artworks. My paintings all have the essence of my family in them, they are my life and all bring colour to my world.
In 1990 I was living in Lennox Head, so far away from family, missing them so much, I then started dabbling with acrylic paints, painting about the land, ocean and animals, this would be a way for me to connect with them. So much love, thought and meaning would go into my painting and this was the start of ‘The Calling’ back home to Maroubra & my South Coast homeland.
Most of my work has been about fish, the ocean and sea creatures. This feels so natural to me. As a large family we would always go back to our homelands to camp, fish and reconnect as a whole. Growing up in Maroubra & La Perouse, besides sports we fished, dived & surfed everywhere and stayed together as family.
I gather my ideas from everyday living, most of which come from the land; the incredible colour, shapes & patterns, the smells, sounds, & the stories passed down from my elders. With the love from my family, sharing of knowledge, living the cultural ways, being part of our family kinship, all this beauty is recreated in my paintings as some sort of story. I use dot work because it feels so natural and makes the paintings look complete. I use line work as well because it is my imprint. I enjoy playing with colour and using them in a way that will uplift people.
I gather my ideas from everyday living, most of which come from the land; the incredible colour, shapes & patterns, the smells, sounds, & the stories passed down from my Elders.
Natalie Bateman, artist