Chern’ee Sutton, a Kalkadoon woman, is the artist behind the Indigenous component included on the hands and feet of Borobi, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games’ mascot.
Miss Sutton, who’s also had her work featured on the Indigenous All Stars’ jersey and has held exhibitions at the Australian Open, in Hong Kong and Tokyo, says she’s had to stop herself from “shouting from the rooftop”.
“I was very surprised and humbled,” she says.
The artist says finally seeing her designs taking pride on Borobi’s hands and feet is “hard to describe in words”, after creating about 10 more other designs.
“The designs tell not just an Indigenous story, but all of our stories,” she says.
“It tells an Australian story.
“Whether it’s a handshake, wave or gesture, the hands are very symbolic of welcoming people from all around the world to Australia.”
She says the hands and the feet tell the story of the Commonwealth Games, which is left behind in the sand as Borobi travels for the world and future generations to see.
Including stories and history in all her artworks is an area of focus for her.
“I think it’s important because we‘re showcasing our Aboriginal culture which has told stories for the last 60,000 years, whether it be through rock art, corroborees or even pictures depicted in the sand,” she says.
“And I think that it’s great that even the mascot himself tells a story when he walks in the sand and that’s there for the whole world to see and embrace.”
Miss Sutton’s designs depict countries meeting and uniting at a campsite, with their athletes’ journeys being followed by spectators and supporters witnessing the competition for gold medals.
On Borobi’s hands are wavy lines representing the 11 days of competition, and the scattered dots are symbolic of spectators who are coming in support of the event.
Borobi was unveiled as the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games mascot on Monday with Torres Strait Islander musician Jeremy Marou, of Busby Marou, helping to provide the official theme song called ‘Days of Gold’ for the blue koala.
“He (Borobi) is going to be very prominent in the next two years promoting not only the Games but Indigenous culture and welcoming everyone as well,” Miss Sutton says.