Kapata Dreaming was created by Maddy Hodgetts, a Ngiyampaa Wiradjuri artist, with a passion for creating artwork that reflects her culture, her language, her kinship and her Ngurrampaa (country)
Maddy was born on the Central Coast, the lands of the Guringai and Darkinyung people. Her cultural connection is through her Mother, a Wirajduri Wangaaypuwan Woman. Related to the Shipp mob, their families country is centred around the Macquarie, Bogan, Cudgegong, Talbragar and Castlereagh Rivers of Central and Western NSW.
Maddy was blessed to grow up with many cultural influences such as her mother Sharon Hodgetts, her Nan Anita Selwyn/nee Shipp and her older brothers. As well as many other families members that value and practice our culture.
Sharon practices indigenous archaeology working to protect cultural sites. This has instilled in Maddy the importance of protecting and caring for our land. Living near Brisbane Water National Park and many cultural sites, Maddy grew up spending time exploring the bush and learning the stories with her Mother.They still regularly go bush together, where Maddy continues to learn culture.
Anita grew up in Dubbo NSW but now lives on the Central Coast with the family. Growing up, Maddy, her nan and the family would return to Wiradjuri and Ngiyampaa Country to spend time with relatives in Central and Western NSW. Maddy has learnt many cultural values and morals from her Nan. She's also taught Maddy the hardships and obstacles faced by an indigenous woman of her generation. Anita is Maddy’s biggest encouragement and she only hopes to make her Nan proud.
Maddy's older brothers Trent and Jesse practice traditional culture. They both dance and sing traditional songs and participate in Corroborees across NSW. Maddy has been lucky to learn many songs and dances from them. Jesse is also undertaking a PhD in traditional Ngiyampaa songs. From this he has been learning his Ngiyampaa language and supporting the revitalisation process. Therefore Maddy has learnt and continues to learn Ngiyampaa language from Jesse. They have both been a big inspiration to Maddy at keeping our language and culture alive.
Maddy's love for painting began at a young age with her mother. They would paint together Indigenous designs and stories. At the age of 11, Maddy started entering her paintings in a local NAIDOC week art competition. Here, she won first prize in her category and also sold her first piece. Maddy continued to enter her artwork in consecutive years winning awards and selling a number of her artworks.
Now 25 years old, Maddy has slowly progressed to her own personal style. She uses a large range of colours but remains consistent with the dot style. Her art and the stories behind them, will continue to evolve as she is continuously learning her culture.
These experiences of culture and family have instilled in Maddy the importance of caring for mother earth and each other. She has a great appreciation and respect for her Family, Culture and Country. These are the things Maddy values and holds in her heart, this is part of her spirit in which is expressed though her art.
Ngadhu Wiradjuri Ngiyampaa Winarr'gara. Ngadhu ngima ngila'na. Ngadhu yadhama'du bunmara - I am a Wiradjuri Ngiyampaa Woman. I paint. This good me makes.
As an Aboriginal person, our values and our laws manifest as stories seen in the land, which are depicted in our art, songs and dances. On a rudimentary level, the designs you see displays circles, dots and lines but on a deeper level, the circles, dots and lines reveal meaning and are part of a story. Circles represent water, camps and our connection to our culture. Lines depict creeks, tracks or the rainbow serpent. These designs also might depict a story that includes a lesson or moral value.
These stories can teaches us about our relationships and obligation to mother earth as well as every living and non living thing in the universe. It is important we continue practices of our Ancestors and give back to our Ngurrampaa (country).
- Madeline Hope-Hodgetts
Photography by @barefootwandering.photogragphy