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Community Profile: Elisabeth Blomberg, Indigenous Artist, South Australia

August 10, 2023
hero--Community Profile: Elisabeth Blomberg, Indigenous Artist, South Australia

At Green Leaves, we value the genuine connections and partnerships we develop with our families. We’ve been extremely lucky to cross paths with Elisabeth and we’re grateful for her generosity in sharing her time, talent, and knowledge. An artist, Elisabeth recently, transformed a rock at Green Leaves Seaford Meadows’ outdoor playscape into an inspiring piece of Indigenous art.

She has also taken the time to share a little bit about herself, her art and the inspiration behind it. We hope you’ll enjoy getting to know Elisabeth as much as we did.

Where are you from, and how does that influence your work?

I was born in Orange, NSW, which is known as ‘Wiradjuri’ country. It’s located in Central NSW and is the largest Indigenous group in NSW both by land size and population.

We moved to Sydney when I was still young, yet we would go back out to my Nan and Pop’s who lived 10 minutes outside a small town called Condobolin, for the school holidays several times a year and meet up with cousins and other relatives.

These were my favourite times growing up and what has influenced me the most in regards to my work. My Nan and Pop along with several of my other relatives, Aunties and Uncles, made didgeridoos and would then sell these in Sydney at the Rocks.

When I was out visiting them, they would show us the entire process. They took us out on country and showed us the trees they used, how they cut them down, prepared them by stripping the bark off and eventually how they painted them. I still have a small didgeridoo I made from when I was about 10 with their guidance.

They were always painting and creating when we went out there to visit. At night times we would sit outside around a campfire and my nan would make damper and we would share stories and talk.

In my practice today, I paint intuitively, which means I don’t generally set out exactly what I’m going to paint before I start. I’ll have a theme or a general story I want to tell which is either based on a feeling or word I want to portray but then I let the process and picture unfold organically during the process. I feel that during this process it allows me to connect with my ancestors and to really let the knowledge that I hold within the fabric of my cells and lineage to come through and express itself as it needs to.

I am still learning in my practice every day and uncovering more and more about my own culture that I want to express and educate on.

Tell us about your work – what is your favourite medium, what do you enjoy creating?

I paint using acrylic paints and sometimes I use foraged earth pigments as well. I also weave baskets and small dishes using raffia and I create healing pendants using macrame and crystals.

I’m really drawn to these different mediums at different times. Generally, I would say painting is my favourite. Music is a huge influence in my process, and I love putting on loud music and creating a new piece.

When I am feeling calmer, for instance, is when I like to sit down (either inside or outside in the sun) and weave or create my pendants.

For me it’s been pivotal to have different creative outlets to match my mood or what I am trying to create and express in a given moment.

What is your favourite time of the day to create?

This really depends for me! Usually in the afternoon or at night time.  I love to paint and weave in the day and to create my pendants at night.

In your opinion, how is Indigenous art important to society?

It’s important for Indigenous culture to have a voice no matter the medium. Art means so much to Aboriginal culture – it’s how we teach, tell stories, communicate and pass on knowledge.

If society is truly interested in getting to know the First Nations of this country on a deeper level, then it is imperative they look to their Art. Look to the stories they are telling. The hurt they are expressing, the connection they are depicting, and spirituality that permeates it all. There are so many Indigenous nations in this country, and each have their own ways of communicating through Art, so the cultural significance is really endless!

Do you have a dream project?

I would love to write and illustrate some children’s books. It’s a project I hold in my heart that I know will come to fruition someday. In particular, I want to introduce children to concepts surrounding spirituality, connection to self, others and the land on which they live and to start a conversation around Indigenous culture and the true power of it from a young age.


Follow Elisabeth’s artistic journey on Instagram: