Sheep Hills, Adnate
About the work
Throughout his career, Melbourne-based artist Matt Adnate has been called to tell the stories of Indigenous people and their native lands, particularly those of Aboriginal Australians. In 2016, Adnate developed a friendship with the Barengi Gadjin Land Council in north-west Victoria and found his inspiration for the Sheep Hills mural.
Adnate’s depiction of Wergaia Elder, Uncle Ron Marks and Wotjobaluk Elder, Aunty Regina Hood alongside two young children from the community acknowledges the area’s Indigenous history and seeks to celebrate the richness of its culture.
Spanning four silos (built in 1938) and visible from kilometres away, the evocative work portrays four faces against a backdrop of a starry night sky. The night sky represents elements of local dreaming and the overall image signifies the important exchange of wisdom, knowledge and customs from Elders to the next generation.
Adnate spent four weeks with the community in late 2016 to conceive and complete the mural. He says that he sought to shine a spotlight on the area’s young Indigenous people and highlight the strong ancestral connection that they share with their Elders.
Adnate had his start in graffiti and street art in Melbourne in the mid-2000s. Heavily influenced by the chiaroscuro (light and shade) style of Renaissance painters such as Caravaggio, his work embraces a realistic and sensitive approach to portraiture.
Featuring a bold use of block colours via acrylic and spray paint, Adnate’s portraits are known for introducing a strong energetic presence into their environs. Described as “life-like” and “emotive” his realist style can be seen in large-scale murals in various settings throughout Australia and around the world.
Follow artist Adnate on his website, Instagram and Facebook.
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