Renowned First Nations portrait artist Noni Cragg was commissioned for a week of live painting at One International Towers, Barangaroo as part of NAIDOC Week 2020 celebrations.
Sydney-based artist Noni is inspired by culture, colour and people. She is of Irish, Scottish and First Nations heritage (Bundjalung and Biripai) and also works as a writer, actor, model and activist.
She spent NAIDOC Week creating a painting of Benn Pigot, a professional BMX bike rider who is of First Nations (Croker Island) Australian, Rotuma (Fijian) and Irish/Scottish heritage.
True to her style, the painting was filled with vibrant colours and a sense of movement. Each element in the painting was an acknowledgement of different aspects of Benn’s life. Depicted nestled amongst fluffy acacia, Benn’s ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ tattoo on his chest reflected the NAIDOC 2020 theme. The Kangaroo paw flowers at his waist were a nod to the kangaroo track symbol tattooed on his throat.
A black Cockatoo was painted behind Benn in the distance, while a Rainbow Bee-eater zoomed past in the foreground. The birds are an acknowledgement of his incredible talent on a BMX bike; Benn is well known for his ability to air higher than most in his sport. The purple dusk sky with bright orange fluffy clouds scattered above the mountains gave the artwork a strong sense of place.
This activation was curated and produced by aMBUSH Gallery (an initiative of Wiltshire + Dimas Management) and presented by One International Towers.