16 December 2016: The colourful artwork of University of Canberra alumna Krystal Hurst is adorning the walls of the University’s Ngunnawal Centre thanks to the generosity of a group of current Indigenous students.
Dean of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership and Strategy Peter Radoll said he was excited to have Ms Hurst’s vibrant artwork on display in the Ngunnawal Centre for all to enjoy.
“I’m thrilled that the centre now has these two beautiful, cultural works by an Aboriginal graduate on display and I’m grateful to our current students who have made this happen,” Professor Radoll said.
The two art pieces, ‘Waterholes and Ocean Waves’ and ‘Rock Pools’ were purchased with funds raised by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students’ Association and donated to the University of Canberra Art Collection.
President of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Association, Ruth Gilbert said they decided to donate the artworks to the centre as a way to say thank you for all the support it provides to the University’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
“The Ngunnawal Centre created a safe and comfortable space for myself and other Aboriginal students where we could meet other community members, socialise and support each other,” she said.
“When I first began studying and was adapting to the challenges of combining work, study and raising three children, the support I received from the centre’s staff was incredible. Without the Ngunnawal Centre, I would have been completely lost.”
Ms Hurst, who graduated with a Bachelor of Heritage, Museums and Conservation in 2014, said she felt honoured to have her artwork displayed at the Ngunnawal Centre.
“It’s wonderful knowing that after being a UC student for such a long time, a part of me will always be there through my artwork. I hope that students, staff and visitors can appreciate them too,” she said.
Ms Hurst is a Worimi woman from the mid-north coast of New South Wales. She is an aspiring artist who is passionate about her culture and heritage and currently runs her family business Gillawarra Arts. Through her artwork she aims to share her knowledge and stories.
Ms Hurst explained that the inspiration behind her artworks were from her childhood memories of growing up and learning about the importance of water in sustaining culture in Saltwater, New South Wales.
“Waterholes and Ocean Waves depict how the water of the sea moves, looks, feels and smells. It’s this unsettling motion that settles our inner spirit and improves our sense of wellbeing, while the waterholes reflect the inner spring within ourselves and our innate need to nurture it,” Ms Hurst said.