Public Art in Georges River – Maddison Gibbs

Post Office Lane, Kogarah

2020 – present

Maddison Gibbs is an Aboriginal artist who grew up in Dubbo, New South Wales, and now lives in Sydney. Maddison’s identity as a Barkindji woman is central to the themes of her art. Her work ranges from murals to ceramics and animation and she has been featured in numerous exhibitions, the Sydney Fringe Festival, Vivid Sydney and she has also worked on the restoration of the 40,000 years mural at the Block, Redfern. She looks for inspiration for her art from her Aboriginal culture and her surroundings to tell stories of the past and present. Maddison is also drawn to including political statements and educational information regarding Aboriginal issues throughout her artwork.

Maddison’s mural at Post Office Lane acknowledges Biddegal Country and draws inspiration from Kogarah’s name, meaning ‘place of reeds’. The mural features a blend of fish and reeds that represent the use of the Georges River by the Biddegal people for over 40,000 years. Not only was the river a source of food but it also acted as a birthing place, meeting place and place for important cultural ceremonies.

Maddison describes the theme of her mural as…

“The waterways  are now covered by cement and asphalt. Water is life and it is important to celebrate the success of Aboriginal people having one of the most intricate and sophisticated societies pre colonisation, now we are in the process of reclaiming that culture. By telling the stories of the traditional uses of the river by local Aboriginal people we reclaim and celebrate the oldest living culture in the world and the land on which we stand Biddegal country.”

You can find out more about Maddison’s work on Instagram @gibbsmaddie

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