Meet the Artist: Shanai from Maloga Art

We caught up with Shanai Kellet, the talented artist who created Banksia Forest for our first collaboration printed on the Elements Jacket. Shanai is a Yorta Yorta/Juru descendent living on Boon Wurrung Country. Follow her over at @malogaart

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I come from a family that is quite arty. I grew up watching my mum paint, learning from her way of doing things and then adding my own unique touch. My mum has been my biggest inspiration, she learnt the ‘sand art’ technique from her late Uncle Ralph, I also use this technique as it symbolises that connection to Mother Nature and earth. Maloga means Sand in my Yorta Yorta language.

 

What is the Sand Art technique and how did you learn it?

I learnt how to create sand art through my mum, she moved from acrylic art to Sand art as her Uncle used this technique which originated from our Yorta Yorta people. As you travel through Yorta Yorta country you come across a variety of coloured sand, sand hills and traditionally our people would draw their dreaming in the sand and then eventually transfer the sand onto different surfaces to share their stories. Today I use this technique to keep us grounded with Mother Nature, my country and where I live today, the Mornington Peninsula. It also adds that textured, dimensional look, to draw you into the piece. 

 

When do you normally paint?

I am a primary school teacher and I teach Science and Visual Art through an Indigenous lens, we call the subject Connect to Country. I don’t have a lot of time after work, so most of my painting is planned ahead and worked on over a weekend. Sometimes if I’ve had a busy day, painting is my mindfulness time and you’ll find me with a cup of tea sitting next to the fire working on either a commission piece or one for the website in the evening.

 

Why did you choose to paint Bush Rangers Bay?

I've lived on the Mornington Peninsula my whole life and my dad has such a strong relationship with nature and the ocean. I’ve been dragged from one end of the Peninsula to the other, chasing those perfect waves to catch. Walking through Bush Rangers Bay as a kid was like walking through a magical bush forest. Now as an adult walking through this track, those special smells of nature bring me back to my childhood. I feel so lucky to have been brought up on the Peninsula.

 

Where or whom do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from our beautiful country, my Grandmothers country and my Grandfather’s country. I see the beauty in the landscapes of nature and I share that through my contemporary Aboriginal art style. I also like to express my opinions and make my art a talking point for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to continue to reconcile.

Who are your favourite artists that we should be following?

NardurnaYukul ArtKamara MorganKapata DreamingWarlayirti ArtistsApy AC CollectiveIwantja Arts

 

How can people connect with you or browse your artworks?

On Instagram at @malogaart for now, but my website will be online soon, and you will be able to purchase a print of the Banksia Forest painting there.