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An Interview with the Artist

During the July School Holidays, local indigenous artist Jade Dolman of J.D. Penagke painted a large-scale mural depicting her intepretation of 'Mirrabooka' and incorporating native flowers.

Conveying culture, stories and emotions, Jade unveils the inspiration behind her latest mural, and what inspired her to start painting!


What inspired you to start painting?

Art was a way to feel connected to my culture and I found I could express stories and emotions through paintings. 

What do you hope to convey through your art works?

The relevance of Noongar culture in today’s society and that we still practice our culture including Bush medicine practices, following the seasons, art and performances.  

Tell us a little bit about your career in the arts?

I’ve been an artist for 5 years. I started painting about my family and the derbal yerrigan (Swan River) because I was deeply moved by the stories of my Pop growing up and being taken away. This was my way of connecting to the stories and I still paint similar themes depending on what’s present in my life at the time. 

What has been your favourite experience as an artist so far?

The collaboration with The Adnate hotel in Perth! 

Describe the meaning behind the mural at The Square Mirrabooka, and your inspiration for this?

At the time I designed this mural I was inspired by the beautiful flowers of Makaru. All the flowers in this mural have many uses for Noongar people as either medicines or food. Kadidjiny Djet means learning from the flowers. In Indigenous culture, when certain flowers would bloom, it would indicate when specific animals or foods were ready for collection. 

What advice would you give to people who are interested in a career in the arts?  

When starting out, don’t be afraid to try different mediums and take up interesting opportunities. Experiment as much as you can while you’re developing your style and figuring out your stories and your passion.