The art of Bundaberg indigenous artist Chern’ee Sutton was ‘hands down' a highlight of the 2021 NRL Harvey Norman All Stars games in Townsville on Saturday.
Having already gained a national audience for her art by designing the Indigenous All Stars men’s and women’s teams’ jerseys for the fourth time since 2015, Chern’ee, who attended the game, also painted the centrepiece of a large banner featuring Indigenous All Stars’ handprints.
The centrepiece for the banner, which will be donated to charity, resembles Chern’ee’s jersey design which was called ‘Nyimu Ayat Maltha – All One Mob’.
The contemporary artist was also an artist in residence in the NRL VIP corporate box, creating a small painting with attendees at the event contributing a fingerprint or a dot to the piece, which is also to be donated to charity.
Chern’ee said she was proud to again be involved in the All Stars games, this time contested between the Indigenous and Maori teams.
“The NRL Indigenous All Stars game is a fantastic way to kick off the footy season, it is a powerful display of culture, skill and passion from both sides and it brings everyone together, helping to promote reconciliation,” Chern’ee said.
“It’s an event that we as Indigenous people can be proud of and get behind 100 per cent, but it’s not just about game night, it’s about giving back to community in the lead up to the game.”
Chern’ee said the Indigenous and Maori players had been an inspiration to young people in Townsville during their stay.
“I saw countless times the players stopping and taking photos with fans, signing their training boots and giving them to star struck children, and answering any questions that they had,” she said.
“It was an amazing game on Saturday and was played hard by both the men’s and women’s teams.
“They put in an amazing effort and made their families and culture proud.”
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