"Through the Net" Artwork by Denise Proud

Denise Proud (2012)

Denise Proud holding paintingThe painting illustrates the dialogue and collaboration occurring in the Australian Indigenous Studies Learning and Teaching Network. The circles are meeting places where discussions about learning and teaching occur. The two circles at the centre are the universities who established the network: The University of Queensland (blue and gold) and The University of New South Wales (red and black). The three circles above are the partners: University of Technology Sydney (black and white), Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (red, black and yellow), and University of Melbourne (blue and white). The two other circles are the network's critical friends: University of Wollongong (white and black) and Macquarie University (red and grey). The semi-circle shapes around each circle signify people sitting on the ground - coming together in dialogue; and the copper background represents the earth, using copper as an element on which collaborations will be formed. The painting also represents the network as a work in progress. Just as other universities will join the network, there is scope to add to this painting over time to reflect this.

The curved, winding lines between the circles are Indigenous ways of knowing, teaching and learning in Australian Indigenous studies while the straight white lines are non-Indigenous ways of teaching and learning. This highlights that there are many ways to approach teaching and learning in Australian Indigenous studies. The lines are also pathways of communication
between Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators, and it is important to note that, in the spirit of the network, they are open. Knowledge can be shared back and forth, being shared between members of the network. This represents Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators working together, valuing each other's knowledge, and travelling the journey together to improve teaching and learning in Australian Indigenous studies.

About the artist

Denise Proud was born in Cherbourg, an Aboriginal settlement in Queensland, and in Wakka-Wakka country. She was an early childhood educator for many years and is a popular international speaker in this field. Denise has also worked in correctional centres, youth detention centres, and women’s centres and has been closely involved with The University of Queensland facilitating cultural awareness workshops and guest lecturing on a diverse range of topics. Her parents along with many brothers and sisters are major influences in her life and more than a few of the “Chambers” family are well known artists. Denise has lived for many years at The Gap in Brisbane, Australia with her husband David and daughter Monique, where she has set up a studio and likes to paint into the small hours of the morning. She continually supports her family, her community and her country.