MADDISON GIBBS Caring for Country

Public art

Maddison Gibbs - “Caring for Country”. Commissioned by Landcom in 2021 for Sydney Metro Northwest Places Public Art Program. Image courtesy of Landcom.

Maddison Gibbs - “Caring for Country”

Maddison Gibbs is a proud Barkindji woman who grew up in Dubbo, and currently lives and works between Sydney and Kandos. A multidisciplinary artist and activist, Maddison’s work examines dual histories – focusing on stories of past and present Aboriginal societies and spirit. Maddison’s work explores a spectrum of cultural practices, using many methods and ideologies.

Maddison’s work can be polarising, offering up culturally feminine intuitive visual poetics which at times starkly contrast with her art activism. The dual sensitivities of caring for a Country and fighting injustice is an interesting tension and one that is explored throughout Maddison’s practice.

“My artworks are based on my culture, people and surroundings, they tell stories of past and present by using contemporary methods and ideologies. My works include political statements and educational information regarding Aboriginal issues, a subject which I am extremely passionate about. I use different mediums for my works including drawing, ceramics, printmaking and animation.”

Maddison’s artworks have been included as part of Vivid Festival, Sydney Fringe Festival, Hobiennale at Moonah Arts Centre in Tasmania and the 2020 Bankstown Biennale. Maddison also worked on the restoration of the 40,000 years mural at The Block, Redfern, and was recently commissioned to create a large-scale public artwork for the new Eveleigh Precinct in Sydney.  Recent artist residencies include the Inner West Council EDGE greenway residency (2021), the Cementa21 first nations residency (2021), and the Australian Antarctic division residency (2019). 

In 2019 Maddison was the recipient of the Australian Museum’s prestigious Young Indigenous Artist Fellowship, and she has also been awarded the Rotary Club of Sydney Soukup Animation Grant and the Bob Morgan International Scholarship.

Maddison Gibbs was a finalist in the 2021 Wyndham Prize and the 2021 Hidden Rookwood Sculpture Prize , Blacktown art prize 2021 and  won the inaugural Yapang emerging art prize (Lake Macquarie gallery) 2021. 

About the artwork - Caring for Country

This artwork features Aboriginal foods, medicines and flora, using sketches created on Darug/Dharug Country. The contemporary, bright and bold imagery references the spirits of past and present ancestors and local traditional practices. The colours are inspired by the spring flowers and the once in a lifetime pink flannel flowers on Darug/Dharug Country.