Tanya Flower

Community / Language Group: Wakaman Rosie's Girls 2013 clay 40 x 17 x 7 cm (each) Collection Shepparton Art Museum, acquired through the 2014 Indigenous Ceramic Art Award

The theme throughout all my works relates to the stories of my Grandmother and my Great Grandmother Rosie Biddle/Thomas.  Aunty Deb told us children of Nan’s totems the Red Tailed Black Cockatoo. I remember as a child mum driving us all (Nan, Aunties Deb, Ingy, Yvonne and my sisters Sheryl and Lee-Anne) to the strand to sit and watch these cockie’s demolish the beach almond while we ate our hot chips. On one particular day, Nan showed us kids we could also eat the beach almond the cockie’s were eating and proceeded to open it up. The outside of the beach almond is similar to that of a coconut. You reach the inner and you need a rock to crack it open. I also remember it seemed to be a family of five that we watched in the beach almond tree’s down on the strand.

During my life I grew up in a house with all my family at different times and remember their always being Nan, Mum and my Aunties. I can say these women mean the world to me and they helped raise me, as well as my mum and dad and uncles. My artwork is called Rosie’s Girls in recognition of the stories I heard from my family regarding my Great Grandmother:  of her true courage, strength and a quiet determination about her, this left me feeling a great sense of pride, as back in their day it was really tough living and nobody complained much back then either. 

I see these attributes in my Grandmother, Mother and Aunties. I have named the small individual five artworks Strength, Beauty, Grace, Free Spirit and Wild. From birth to now I look to these strong, proud beautiful women for support, love and guidance.  They have always been there for me no matter what and will be there for my children sharing stories and giving them endless amounts of support and love.

It is these wonderful qualities from my family that I want to be passed on. I know that this will keep theirs spirits alive in our children and their children for generations to come.