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Sea Country by Lowell Hunter

Connection to Country through sandy canvas

News Article Date: 
Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Acclaimed sand artist Lowell Hunter returns to his former hometown to stage his debut public exhibition at the Warrnambool Art Gallery (WAG), allowing audiences to soak in his usually ephemeral form of art.

In 2019, Lowell discovered his gift as a sand artist, and has been creating large-scale symbols, stories and messages with a deep connection to Country along shorelines ever since.

A self-confessed salt water man, Lowell is a Nyul Nyul and Bardi man originally from the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

He grew up in Warrnambool on Gunditjmara Country and it was on the beaches of the Surf Coast in Waddawurrung Country that he uncovered his unique talent.

Lowell eschews tools of any kind. His feet are his brush and the sand his canvas as he traces out intricate designs while utilising elements of traditional dance – maintaining a strong connection to Country solely through his feet.

His creations are best admired from the air, with drone photography capturing his artworks amidst their often stunning coastal setting before the wind and the waves reclaim the terrain.

Lowell visited Warrnambool in January to create an artwork at Moyjil especially for his upcoming exhibition. 

The WAG worked with the artist to include the local Koko Blokes dance group, with 13 dancers joining Lowell in the early morning hours to take part in the creation of the large sand designs, dancing within them and amidst clouds of smoke from a Ceremony of Respect performed by Elder Robbie Lowe Snr.

Lowell’s exhibition, Sea Country, features large-scale prints and projections of his works, with pieces from the WAG Collection by First Nations artists Fiona Clarke (Kirrae Whurrong) and Lisa Waup (Gunditjmara / Torres Strait Islander) as well as samples of the ancient Moyjil site also incorporated.

Sea Country runs until June 13. Entry to the WAG is free.

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