Creative Face > Cindy Brown Schuler

Taking out two prizes in the 2017 Outback Archies exhibition, we thought we’d catch up with Cindy and get her story…

Hi there Cindy! Where you from?

Lightning Ridge.

Your sculptural work including Aboriginal artefacts and decorative pieces are a reflection of your heritage… tell us about that.

I believe a person’s art reflects who they are, their individual experiences and where they come from.  When creating any of my pieces I draw upon the stories that my elders told me and try to incorporate these narratives within contemporary designs.    I also use my artworks as a way of promoting Indigenous culture and keeping Indigenous heritage alive by passing these stories and knowledge (via art) to the next generation.

What other art forms do you practise?

I also do paintings on bark and other types of wood, preferring Mulga, as it is one of the most durable trees from our area.  I also produce didgeridoos and do wood burning and make crab claw crackers and fish stunners.  I try not to limit myself and let my imagination guide me, as often I get requests from locals and visitors to create particular pieces for them.  Further I try to make works which have practical purposes, for example coolomon dishes have a variety of uses and clapsticks are for making music.  I think that by having tangible artefacts and artworks is a great way to share Indigenous culture and heritage.

Why do you think it is important to have creative outlets and opportunities for people, especially in regional areas?

I think it important for all people to have a creative outlet as a way of expressing themselves and a way of communicating.  In particular for people in rural and remote areas as they are isolated and are often under-represented in the mainstream arts industry.  I also think it is an excellent way for artists to share the uniqueness of the geographical location and the beauty of one’s cultural heritage and diversity.

What have you got coming up?

I have been experimenting with ochre and traditional Aboriginal artefacts.  I have been making my own ochre and collecting different types from a range of areas from across the region.  I have also been decorating traditional artefacts in my own style, often conveying stories associated with the particular artefact.

What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?

Currently I am an educator at our local pre-school and I create my works in my spare time.  However, if I had any more leisure time I would have to say I would be a professional angler, I love my fishing.

Where can we see more of your stuff?

I have some of my works displayed at the Lightning Ridge Visitors Information Centre and at my families local museum “The Goodee Keeping Place” in Lightning Ridge, which is open to visitors.

Lastly Beatles or the Stones?

I can’t choose, I enjoy them both!