Jandamarra with Nourish and Uncle
Jandamarra with Nourish and Uncle

Hundreds expected to Welcome Local Artist’s Nationally Touring

There are not many places on the Sunshine Coast that local Artist Jandamarra Cadd can visit without being recognised by a friend or a fan of his Artwork.

With an unprecedented number of followers on Social Media, the artist and inspirational speaker has had to become accustomed to his public recognition.

Born and raised in Brisbane in the seventies, life certainly wasn't an easy road, and Jandamarra's redemption from a potential life behind bars was the simple and timely introduction of a paintbrush.

What began with painting stories from his Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung Ancestry, the self taught artist was drawn to portraiture after a moment experienced of seeing his nieces exuding the joyous innocence of youth that he so desired to have.

The dream birthed in him to paint for not only his own healing, but also for that of others - especially the future generations.

After living in Melbourne for his early adulthood, in a moment of revelation, Jandamarra quit his secure government job, and a lifestyle of drowning his pain in alcohol and fast-food and moved to the Sunshine Coast to pursue his deep connection to the natural environment and explore his gift of painting.

The move paid off 17 years later when he became an Archibald Prize Finalist in 2014 with his striking portrait of inspirational mentor Archie Roach.

He now has tens of thousands of supporters on social media across 45 countries who are drawn to the impact he creates through his innovative melting pot of both modern and ancient painting techniques.

When asked in interviews who his artistic influences are, he struggles to answer as he has always simply painted what came to him from within.

Perhaps this offers an explanation as to why his work is so unique and creative in its application. Despite his work being identifiably his, he continually strives to grow and evolve as an artist and keeps his collectors and followers in anticipation of what he's going to do next.

Sought after as a mentor by institutions ranging from prisons to kindergartens as well as speaking at Pecha Kucha and TEDxNoosa, the influence and inspirational impact of this artist goes beyond the paintings on the walls.

So respected by his community, Jandamarra recently became the Patron of the Inaugural Noosa Youth Art Award launching this year.

Locals to his hometown of Pomona were treated just before Christmas when Archie Roach came to the (infamous) Majestic Theatre for two sold out shows, which included an in-depth interview with Jandamarra and Archie about the process and inspiration behind the award-winning portrait, which was displayed on stage for the concerts.

Comments from audience members included, "An absolutely amazing concert, very moving and the stories were incredible I was so lucky to be in the audience. Thank you" and "It was a privilege to be part of the audience last night and hear the stories behind both the painting and the songs. Two extremely talented and humble men on stage together, a truly beautiful experience."

Sunshine Coast and surrounds won't have to wait long to see more of Jandamarra's paintings and hear his inspiration, with the opening of his second Nationally Touring Exhibition "KINSHIP" coming to the University of the Sunshine Coast Gallery next month.

"It's truly wonderful to visit the different locations on the tours and connect with beautiful people, and being able to share it with my hometown is an experience I deeply cherish,"

The artist shares, "the love and support myself and my family receive from the community of the Sunshine Coast on Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi country is something we are so grateful for and to live in such a lush natural environment is definitely a gift".

The multi-state touring exhibition KINSHIP shows the relationships between family members, the passing on of teachings and traditions and demonstrates through powerful and emotive images how these connections are such an integral component of wholeness to Aboriginal people.

' While installing Jandamarra's powerful show we felt the strong links between culture and family relationships, and hope audiences will enjoy the contemporary painting style while appreciating the storytelling. ' LOU JAEGER, USC GALLERY The nine location tour began in November 2014 and concludes in September this year after visiting major towns like Brisbane and Adelaide, as well as regional communities such as Cunnamulla, Coororooke and Roma. "In this industry it's commonly advantageous to only exhibit in the highest profile galleries in the big cities, however I paint for all people and demographics and geography shouldn't dictate who can view creative expression.

My family and I have been deeply enriched by the experiences and friendships formed with the people we meet in all these communities and the support has been wonderful" Jandamarra hopes to reach as many people as possible and share his dream and passion for a united Australia where the beauty and value of Aboriginal culture is viewed with equality and respect.

"Although this exhibition is about the kinship of First Nation's people, this is something that I believe holds value for all people as the universal messages speak of what is truly important in our lives. Relationships and interconnectedness underpin our ways of thinking, relating and being.. kinship is about connection, harmony and sustainability - something that is within us all regardless of our perceived differences"

An NITV documentarian shared that "Jandamarra's art is emotive and insightful and is bridging the story-telling divide between Aboriginal and mainstream Australia like nothing on offer at present" KINSHIP:

A Culture of Connection opens at USC Gallery on Thursday the 18th February,at 6:30pm and will be showing until Saturday the 2nd of April. RSVP: 5459 4645 or gallery@usc.edu.au

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