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Kookaburra laughter soothes the pain for artist's family

INSPIRATION: Jandamarra Cadd with singer-songwriter Archie Roach who inspired his latest Archibald prize entry.
INSPIRATION: Jandamarra Cadd with singer-songwriter Archie Roach who inspired his latest Archibald prize entry. Contributed

THE sound of the kookaburra is a soothing one for Sunshine Coast artist Jandamarra Cadd and his wife Amy.

The couple recently endured one of the toughest things a family unit can go through; a miscarriage at 24 weeks.

While pregnant, Amy said she had a feeling her son's totem was a kookaburra. Since his passing on April 14, the call of the kookaburra has echoed through the family's Pomona home each morning.

The family recently hosted a burial at dusk, creating a lasting memory of their son in the form of a beautiful pot plant that sits on the couple's veranda.

"We've all put little significant things in the base of the pot plant and we have a sculpture of an Aboriginal boy that sits in it. He is with us all of the time," Amy said.

Last Friday Jandamarra Cadd opened his latest exhibit, One Heart One People One Mob, the largest collection of his works to date.

During the opening he shared his experiences of loss and unveiled his 2014 Archibald Prize entry, an intricate dot painting of singer- songwriter Archie Roach.

INSPIRATION: Jandamarra Cadd with his 2014 Archibald Prize entry, a portrait of singer-songwriter Archie Roach.
INSPIRATION: Jandamarra Cadd with his 2014 Archibald Prize entry, a portrait of singer-songwriter Archie Roach. Contributed

"This man is inspirational to me as someone who has had a truly rough upbringing and many challenges, yet he is a man of great strength and peace," Mr Cadd said.

"His devotion to music and sharing messages of hope and pride were amplified when he performed at the 2010 Dreaming Festival at Woodford just months after his soulmate had passed away."

The Cadd family has a strong following on Facebook due to Janamarra's works.

The couple decided to reveal the news of their loss online and also chose to push ahead with the exhibition at Cooroy only a month after the tragedy.

"It was very sad and we had sacred sorry business as a family. But like Uncle Archie we see the bigger picture and we didn't wish to cancel," Mr Cadd said.

If selected as the winner, Mr Cadd will be the first Aboriginal artist to win the Archibald Prize. It will be the fourth time he has entered.

The portrait of Archie is incredibly detailed, entirely of dots, a method of portraiture that Mr Cadd had never tried before.

MEET JANDAMARRA CADD

Today Jandamarra Cadd will give a free guided floor tour of his exhibit at the Butter Factor Arts Centre, 10 Maple St Cooroy from 10am. The exhibit will be open to the public until July 5.
For more info visit www.jandamarrasart.com

Topics:  jandamarra cadd kookaburra miscarriage tragedy


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