Paintings with a powerful message of hope and transformation
Jandamarra Cadd is a quietly spoken indigenous artist whose name means Spiritual Warrior. He speaks passionately about his people and it's clear he is on this earth to paint glorious works of art that convey a healing message. Jandamarra loves connecting with others, teaching art, helping local schools, whilst creating these massive works of art which all keep him busy. There is such sensitivity in his work and after viewing them and hearing the associated stories, I was in awe of this talented man.
Jandamarra is a man whom walks his talk and alongside wife Amy, run their business in the quietude of their home in country Pomona.
Jandamarra with his latest work of art entitled Walking Together
Jandamarra embraced painting after a career in the public sector, where he was left feeling disillusioned, weary and overweight. Moving to Queensland, he began a spiritual journey, discovered his innate creativity and thus began the seedlings of a new chapter in his life.
The first thing you must know is All Jandamarra's paintings have a pertinent message and each exhibition, thoughtfully conceived.
Jandamarra is currently working on his new exhibition called "Mindari" which means "Ceremony" (and happens to be the name of his beautiful new daughter.) He explained "Ceremony has been lost in our culture but it's a really important part of the coming of age of every boy and girl." It is something that I have never experienced and wonder what it would be like and how it may help to shape one's future life, stepping into adulthood.
He is also busy working on commissioned paintings : one of Alf Gamble, a prominent aboriginal politician in Victoria and another from the Sports Institute in Canberra – its message depicting "we are all equal and walk as one."
Speaking with Jandamarra, it is evident that he is proud of his indigenous roots and his art is his way of reaching out to the wider community, art that speaks deeply to our souls, art that represents positive indigenous role models like 'Uncle Bob Randall' who was featured in a documentary called 'Kanyini'. This film traced Uncle Bob's life from the age of 6, when he was taken from his mother and made to walk (in chains) alongside aunts and uncles, over 400 kms north. Jandamarra explained that 'Kanyini' means total connection - with spirituality, the land, one's self and community, but once this connection is snipped, it leaves aboriginal people totally lost.
I can't help but feel that Jandamarra, alongside Uncle Bob speak with such a deep truth that resonates on our fabric as human beings and it is hard not to be deeply moved.
The last exhibition Amy and Jandamarra produced was about breaking down the barriers, from aborigines being seen as drunk, lazy or no good to depicting positive role models in society. Jandamarra painted several aboriginal portraits that share the message of unity, oneness, healing and unconditional love like Cazman, Natalie Pa'apa'a - (lead singer of band Blue King Brown) Jessica Mauboy and many others. Jandamarra explained "Cazman sings about love and walking together as one people which is a very powerful message."
Jandamarra will be giving a talk on 7th September as part of a program called "Animating Spaces" in EUDLO (opposite the gallery) in the park. He will share an in-depth chapter of his life which he say's is about surviving emotional, mental, physical abuse and how it seasoned him to be where he is today.
One thing is for sure, Jandamarra's art is a gift to this country and to the world - a gift which he aims to help raise the consciousness of our planet and encourage all people to live in harmony.