23 February 2023

Creating art holds special meaning for Angelique, a Darwin-based resident.

Image: Angelique wearing a yellow t-shirt and a black and white skirt, stands outdoors in front of a display of artworks.

The remarkably creative Angelique got her love of art from her mum.

“I liked to watch mum draw. Mum always drew tigers and cats. She sat outside at a big round table around the back. It’s nice out there with trees and animals like birds, kangaroos and snakes,” Angelique reminisced.

Angelique’s mum passed away a few years ago. Angelique misses her very much, and art is one way she keeps her mum’s memories alive.

“I have mummy’s pencils. Sometimes I still use them. I remember her using them,” said Angelique.

Image: Close up of Angelique's mother's pencils.

Angelique is actively supported by her team to put her talents to good use. She loves painting, pottery and sewing. She makes her own skirts and pillowcases, and her house is filled with pottery items she has created.

Once a week, Angelique attends Art Access Darwin with her Life Without Barriers support team. Art Access Darwin holds arts-based workshops and events for people with disability.

Angelique and four other artists, including Tara, a resident at another Life Without Barriers supported home, are members of Art Access Darwin’s Free Space Studio Public Art Collective.

The Collective worked on a special project for Darwin Council’s new Jingili Water Gardens Playground called the ‘Magical Mangrove’, a shade cloth canopy of artwork covering the playground.

Image: Angelique wearing a green t-shirt and black and white skirt, holds up one of her artworks.

The artwork for the Magical Mangroves was developed through a design workshop program at Arts Access Darwin. The shade cloth features a tree-top habitat where the Free Space Studio Public Art Collective artists have drawn different animals, real and imaginary, that live in the mangroves.

The artists worked with experienced public art designers Milne and Stonehouse, who guided and directed the artists to produce the large-scale artwork.

“Being a part of the work project helps me to feel the love of nature."

"I was a bit nervous to be part of this project, but I was feeling excited and happy to be part of it.

"I enjoyed working with others and the company of others. At times I felt embarrassed however, I enjoyed the experience,” said Angelique.

Angelique drew mangroves, flowers, butterflies, birds and nests at the workshop.

“I drew these things because I really like mangroves, flowers and butterflies. I really enjoy nature, and I enjoy drawing things that make me happy,” she said.

Image: Magical Mangroves shade cloth featuring a tree-top habitat where artists have drawn different real and imaginary animals that live in the mangroves.

Angelique and Tara attended the official opening of the playground as special guests. Later in the year, they also received the 2022 NT Arts Access Awards, Project Category, for their involvement in the Jingili Water Gardens Playground’s ‘Magical Mangrove’ project.

As an extra cherry to top it all off, the City of Darwin now wants to buy the license to the Magical Mangroves artwork, offering the six artists a fee of $1,600 which Angelique has accepted. 

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