SANFL Celebrates NAIDOC Week with Indigenous Art

To celebrate NAIDOC Week and the Aboriginal Round, SANFL worked with local Aboriginal artist Shane Mankitya Cook, known as Kooka, to produce a unique piece of artwork that reflects the impact that Aboriginal and Islander people in Torres Strait have had on football in South Africa.

The artwork reflects the home ground of the 10 clubs, while paying homage to Tandanya, the home of the red kangaroo. It also recognizes the different cultures and communities within the football landscape and how cultural knowledge should be the foundation of everything we do.

Each element of the work has its own meaning and meaning. Shane explains key design story points:

  • The meeting places represent the home grounds of all the teams of the SANFL. They are located at different distances from each other and are connected by course lines to represent the clubs moving to and from, to compete against each other.
  • The people seated around the meeting places at the four corners represent the players and the challenges they face in every quarter of every game.
  • The hangouts that represent SANFL clubs are placed above another hangout, which has several different layers. The meeting place which has been placed under the clubs, has several layers to show the diversity of Traditional Owners within the South Australian community and to celebrate them.
  • The central red layers represent the city of Adelaide, to honor the traditional place name Tandanya, the place of the red kangaroo.
  • The two sets of white course lines represent the SANFL timeline. The thin white lines represent the journey of current players, and the thicker white lines below represent the foundations past players have traveled before them.
  • Beneath the course lines are rows of brown shades of dots, these represent the many different cultures and communities within the football community. It represents that cultural knowledge should be the foundation of everything we do.

Elements of this piece have been used on SANFL’s digital channels as part of Indigenous Round and NAIDOC, as in the examples below. You can also see more of Shane’s art on Instagram @Shanakooka_

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