Bible Stories Told Through Indigenous Art

Book cover of Our Mob, Gods Story from The Bible Society.

Book cover of Our Mob, Gods Story from The Bible Society.

Claudia Haines-Cappeau, Reporter

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Commemorating the Bible Society’s 200th anniversary, 65 Indigenous Australian and Torres Strait Islander artists have created an art book that shares their faith and artistic talent.

The book, Our Mob, God’s Story, showcases 115 paintings, each piece a portrayal of the artist’s interpretation of a bible story, including  paintings inspired by the Seven Days of Creation, Noah’s Ark and The Crucifixion.

The book has taken seven years to complete.

The creation of Our Mob, God’s Story began after former accountant Glenn Goodwin believed God was leading him to give a donation to the Bible Society.

He wanted the donation to enable the Society to spread the Gospel through the work of Indigenous artists.

Goodwin has been involved with the creation of Our Mob, God’s Story and included artists from his hometown, Moree in New South Wales.

The artists come from Indigenous groups around Australia, ranging from Tasmania to the Tiwi Islands. Their artwork features various styles, including traditional dot paintings.

Co-editor of the book, Louise Sherman, said each image in the book was different, due to the artists’ various backgrounds.

“As you look through the book their own unique style comes through and that’s why we were really keen to cover heaps of groups from across Australia, not just one particular artistic style. So hopefully we showcase that throughout the book,” she told ECU Daily.

Some of the contributing artists were taken away from their people at a young age, influencing their art in different ways.

“They have often painted as a way to heal from that, and used artwork as a way to try to reconnect to their culture. But often they feel that they can’t paint with dots, because they were raised in white homes and have a more European style of painting,” said Sherman.

Teachers who have purchased the book were interested in using it in the classroom.

“There’s a component in the Australian National Curriculum which talks about Aboriginal culture, so we have had a lot of teachers keen to use the book as a resource,” said Sherman.

All of the books proceeds will go towards the publication of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander scriptures in their native languages.

Our Mob, God’s Story is available at the Bible Society’s website, here https://www.bibleshop.org.au/our-mob-god-s-story

 

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