Aunty Said Be Like Water
by Nioka Lowe-Brennan
Acrylic on canvas
61 x 92 cm

Whether ocean, stream, river or rain water never lye’s stagnant it moves at uncontrollable paces and nothing can stop it. This artwork is about the two aboriginal healers I met, six months apart but who both had a clear message ‘Let go of your past, become like water’. They could see my every trauma which was confronting but this message sat with me until I had a change in mind set, from zeroing in on who I have lost, to focusing on who and what I have in my life right now. Death is not easy and grieving takes a long time but getting this message about water made me think of my Dunghutti ancestor whose life was saved because she knew how to breathe underwater using a reed. She escaped the police and their hunting dogs by swimming to a nearby island using nothing but the knowledge that was passed down to her, she was just seven years old. I draw strength from her story and from the Dunghutti women in my family who have kept her resilience alive and who also move like water.