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Kinship nurtures culture from the heart and spirit

TRADITIONS: Artist Jandamarra Cadd, with his work Nourish and Uncle, is exhibiting from next week.
TRADITIONS: Artist Jandamarra Cadd, with his work Nourish and Uncle, is exhibiting from next week. CONTRIBUTED

JANDAMARRA Cadd's fans are everywhere.

He can go few places on the Sunshine Coast without being recognised.

With a massive number of followers on social media (tens of thousands across 45 countries), the artist and inspirational speaker has had to become accustomed to his public recognition.

Born and raised in Brisbane in the '70s, life certainly wasn't an easy road, and Jandamarra's redemption from a potential life behind bars was his simple and timely introduction to a paintbrush.

He began with painting stories from his Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung ancestry, then was drawn to portraiture after the experience of seeing his nieces exuding the joyous innocence of youth that he so desired to have.

He knew he needed to paint not only for his own healing but also for that of others - especially future generations.

After living in Melbourne for his early adulthood, in a moment of revelation, Jandamarra quit his secure government job and a lifestyle of drowning his pain in alcohol and fast-food, and moved to the Sunshine Coast to pursue his connection to the environment and explore his gift.

The move paid off 17 years later when he became an Archibald Prize finalist in 2014 with his striking portrait of inspirational mentor Archie Roach.

An NITV documentary reported: "Jandamarra's art is emotive and insightful, and is bridging the story-telling divide between Aboriginal and mainstream Australia like nothing on offer at present."

Cadd's second nationally touring exhibition, titled Kinship: A Culture of Connection, opens at the University of the Sunshine Coast Gallery next Thursday at 6.30pm.

Kinship shows the relationships between family members, the passing on of teachings and traditions, and demonstrates through powerful and emotive images how these connections are an integral component of wholeness to Aborigines.

The exhibition will continue until April 2.

Topics:  jandamarra cadd sunshine coast whatson

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