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Cheryl Moggs: The Artist Behind the winning 2018 NAIDOC Artwork

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Cheryl Moggs, wearing a black jacket and orange scarf, holding the 2018 NAIDOC week poster ‘tarumunggie – woman.’ She is standing in front of a large, colourful canvas artwork.
Cheryl Moggs with her winning NAIDOC poster, pictured in front of a new major Indigenous acquisition at Australian Parliament House. Photo: Penny Bradfield, Auspic
2 Jul 2018

Painting, photography, print making, textiles, and now, basket weaving – Cheryl Moggs certainly can do it all.

The artist behind this year’s National NAIDOC poster has had a long career in the arts, and it’s one that began as a teacher.

‘I was teaching at a university, and my job was to fuse culture with the arts,’ Cheryl said.

‘The students were doing so well that the university thought I must also be able to paint. They commissioned a piece to go in an exhibition through the Institute of Modern Art (in Brisbane), and it turned out really well.’

Since then, Cheryl has taught in schools, TAFEs and prisons, but now is taking time to focus on her own work.

‘I had a big break from painting, and didn’t take it up seriously again until 2013. But now is my time, to do my artwork.’

She’s expanded her mediums to include photography, textiles and basket weaving, and has set herself a goal to move into digital printing and fashion design. But regardless of the form, Cheryl’s work always comes back to her culture.

‘My art is certainly influenced by Indigenous affairs – it’s about Traditional Owners, and country; my country, my journey, my mother’s and my grandmother’s journey.’

‘We have lots to tell, lots to paint, and so many stories. I tell my students all the time that they don’t have to invent anything – we have it all to tell.’

And it was some of those stories that influenced Cheryl’s NAIDOC work, ‘tarmunggie – woman,’ which supports this year’s NAIDOC theme ‘Because of Her: We Can!’

‘All my life I’ve been influenced by women, so it was easy for me to paint this work. It’s a personal message, thanking all those women who’ve inspired not only me, but other women all over the world.’

And the important role of women in all aspects of life is a message that Cheryl hopes to impart on young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.  

‘Women’s business is a strong thing and we need to embrace that. I tell young Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander women to go back to country, to learn about their culture, so they can tell their story and be proud of who they are.’

Find out more

In celebration of NAIDOC Week, Cheryl’s original poster artwork is on display on Level 1 of Australian Parliament House in Canberra.

NAIDOC week will run from 8 – 15 July. Visit the NAIDOC Website to find out more.

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