• (L-R): Artist, Tori-Jay Mordey and her illustration for K'Gari (Supplied/NITV)
Tori-Jay, a Brisbane-based artist says that the way her illustrations came to life left her speechless.
By
Emily Nicol

30 Aug 2017 - 12:36 PM  UPDATED 30 Aug 2017 - 12:38 PM

The vibrant interactive documentary exploring one of the first global ‘fake news’ stories has just been launched by SBS. 

Through sound, art and narration, K'Gari tells the story of the damaging falsehoods spread by British woman Eliza Fraser about her time with the Butchulla peoples of K’Gari (now known as Fraser Island). The online user is able to debunk Eliza's words in this cleverly designed production, made by the team behind the voice-activated documentary game, My Grandmother’s Lingo, and is narrated by internationally-acclaimed artist Fiona Foley scripted by academic Larissa Behrendt, and featuring Miranda Otto in the role of Eliza Fraser.

The visuals for the documentary were created by talented young illustrator from the Torres Straits, Tori-Jay Mordey who recently graduated Griffith University and was grateful for the chance to work on such an inspiring and big project.

Mordey, who was born on Thursday Island and grew up in Hervey Bay, told NITV that drawing has always been a part of her life and her style is hard to describe but encourages the audience to, “to look, listen and understand”.

“I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. I was heavily brought up through mainstream art during high school, but in my final year embraced a more Contemporary Indigenous Art style to my art practice. It was around this time my Aunty Jillian Boyd and I won the national Black&Write competition in 2012 for our story “Bakir and Bi” - which I illustrated for. It was then my journey as an Indigenous Illustrator first began, and since then I’ve continued to work closely with Magabala Books.”

While her drawing style has always come from a personal place, including her family and identity has been central and the merging of her own culture in her work has been a more recent inclusion.

“A lot of my personal illustrations have always been emotionally driven. My general art practice and work that I created at university was heavily based around my family, my appearance and my identity. I connect with my culture through my family and continue to reference them through my work.”

"Even though in my family, I was constantly surrounded by my Torres Strait culture and heritage - it never really overlapped within my drawings."

“It was always a complicated thing to merge together. Even though in my family I was constantly surrounded by my Torres Strait culture and heritage - it never really overlapped within my drawings. They were two very different worlds. The first time I attempted to join the two together was when I was illustrating for the book “Bakir and Bi”. Since then I became inspired to make a difference in our storytelling, to keep our stories alive and to bring culture through illustrations.”

Mordey says that she couldn’t believe how well the finished digital documentary came out and she feels lucky to have landed the job straight out of uni, having been recommended for the role.

“It’s all thanks to my publishers Magabala Books for mentioning my name to SBS. I would have never imagined I would get such a job like this straight out of university, I’m very thankful and lucky to have been given an opportunity like this. The whole thing was a huge learning experience for me, it really made me understand the amount of hard work that goes into projects like these. But I still have a lot to learn.

"I would have never imagined I would get such a job like this straight out of university, I’m very thankful and lucky to have been given an opportunity like this." 

"I was speechless [when seeing the finished project], could never imagine my illustrations coming to life the way that they did in K’Gari. The Breeder Animation team and the Web Designers are the true magicians in this work, wouldn’t have come out as good as it did without their hard work and support. I’m honoured to have had the opportunity to worked on this project with them.”

See Tori-Jay's captivating illustrations in the interactive documentary, K'Gari: http://www.sbs.com.au/kgari/

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