– Danielle Mate Sullivan (Tali Gallery)
– Chern’ee Sutton
– Raymond Walters Japanangka
– Christina Yambeing (Merrepen Arts)
– Long John Dewar (Mimi Arts)
– Loreen Samson & Rosaline Diamond (Roebourne Art Group)
– Bernadine Kamarra Johnson (Indigenu)
– Raylene and Samantha Snow (Marra Dreaming)

#1 Danielle Mate Sullivan – Tali Gallery



Danielle is the first artist of our Dreamtime Drive and was introduced to the project thanks to the Tali gallery in Rozelle, which she is affiliated with and where you can find and buy her artwork.

Danielle is a descendant of the Kunja people from the Cunnamulla region in Southwestern Queensland and grew up in New South Wales where she connected to her heritage through her passion for arts, from high school to university where she studied visual arts.

Danielle’s work is a contemporary take on traditional aboriginal art, which seeks inspiration in nature and in the symbols of different animals who represent spirits of the Dreamtime. Her unique style is also recognisable in her abstract and landscape paintings.

Her amazing artwork is exhibited in collections throughout the world, most notably in President Obama’s private collection at The White House, Washington D.C.

Her heart is as beautiful as her paintings as she donated her time, passion and talent to the crucial cause Dreamtime Drive is about. If that wasn’t enough, she also gives art lessons to young people in NSW communities.

Our Q&A with Danielle

  • What was the name of your first painting and what was it about?

D.M.S: I was very young, probably in early highy school when I started painting. I don’t remember exactly what my first painting was but I remember starting to paint in art classes connecting through all the different art movements. Impressionism, cubism, I was practicing all different styles. I then started doing more nature painting, obviously connecting with my cultural influence. I liked using nature, animals and the graphic design of aboriginal paintings.

  • How did you come up with the idea of the painting you did on Dreamtime Drive car?

D.M.S: I chose to paint a frog climbing on the door of the car because I saw it as a symbol of reaching for something higher, which is what Dreamtime Drive is about.

  • What’s the place in Australia that inspires you most?

D.M.S: I would have to say The Utopian region. My favourite artist of all time is Emily Kngwarre from Utopia. Utopian art has a beautiful simplicity and movement that draws me in and moves me.

  • What do you like to do in your free time?

D.M.S:  I’m a sun, sand and water kind of person, I love going to the beach and relax with my kids.

Tali Gallery:

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#2 Chern’ee Sutton

P1030288 P1030283Chern’ee is a highly impressive 16 year old artist, both because of her talent and her maturity.

Due to her highly precocious artistic skills and her inspiring personality, she has attracted a lot of interest and deservingly so. There aren’t many year 12 high school students who can say they are recognised by politicians and journalists across the country, but Chern’ee can, not to mention international recognition with exhibitions having been presented in places like Hong Kong and Sweden.

Her heritage lies in the remote area of Mt Isa in northwestern Queensland with the Kalkadoon people, and while living in Bundaberg, Chern’ee connects to this history through her artwork. She uses very striking colours and a mix of traditional and modern techniques to come up with outstanding paintings.

As yet another proof that she isn’t a regular teenager, Chern’ee has shown tremendous heart in helping charitable causes such as the Bundaberg flooding, youth homelessness and of course Dreamtime Drive.

Our Q&A with Chern’ee

  • What was the name of your first painting and what was it about?

C.S.: My first painting was called ‘The Connection of Lawurl’, it respresented the connection spirits have with the earth and with all living things. I painted it 3 years ago and that was when I was encouraged by my school to enter a painting competition, in which I came first so it made me start to paint more.

  • How did you come up with the idea of the painting you did on the Dreamtime Drive car?

C.S.: The painting is called ‘Wanaka’, which means ‘the sun’ in Kalkadoon language. The sun gives life to all souls, animals, plants and even to the rivers and streams. The goanna represents the idea of travelling through the harsh outback and landscapes, and that’s basically what Dreamtime Drive is going to do.

  • What’s the place in Australia that inspires you most?

C.S.: I’d probably have to say Mount Isa. It’s where my heritage lies and I go out there often and I find it amazing to go camping in permanent waterholes and see life in nature. I get inspiration for my paintings from what I see when I go there.

  • What do you like to do in your free time?

C.S.: I’m in year 12 at school at the moment and have a lot of upcoming exhibitions, so I can’t say I have lots of free time. When I do, I love to spend it with my family and friends at home, just to rest and relax.

  • Is there an Aboriginal word you would like to share with us?

C.S.: ‘Ajarku Muru’ which means ‘all one country’: that’s the name of my painting which is hanging in Parliament House.

 #3 Raymond Walters Japanangka

P1030647 P1030650Living in Alice Springs and descendant of aboriginal tribes from diverse regions including Ngarleyekwerleng in the Western Desert and Utopia is Raymond Walters Japananka, the third artist to participaint in the Dreamtime Drive painting.

When asked how much time he needed to paint the car’s bonnet, Raymond simply said “Just bring it to me in the morning and you can come and pick it at lunchtime”. Painting comes as a very natural thing to Raymond despite having started only 7 years ago, and it is no wonder when looking at his prestigious lineage: grandfather Jack Cook Ngale, grandmothers Emily Kngawerreye and Minnie Pwerle, to name a few.

Raymond shares a common trait with our previous artists, which is his generosity and engagement in community life: in addition to being a regulat role model for Red Dust’s programs, he is an active professional in child welfare services and has a long history of remote and urban aboriginal community developpement, alcohol & drugs awareness and community engagement policies.  We feel lucky to be able to count him as a participant in our project.

#4 Christina Yambeing – Merrepen Arts

P1060535P1060547Living in the community of Nauiyu on the Daly River is Christina Yambeing, the fourth participant in the Dreamtime Drive painting and one of the main artists of the ever more famous Merrepen Art Centre.

 The town of Daly River was built as a Catholic mission while the different communities had been using the river location for traditional ceremonies. Today, the Merrepen Art Centre sits in the heart of the town and attracts many and more visitors to the community during its yearly Merrepen Art Festival.

 Christina is one of three sisters working at the Art Centre and her art is the kind that makes the pride of Merrepen: colourful, creative and original, she is always looking for new ideas and materials – including the beautiful textile art that Merrepen is famous for – which makes her and Merrepen’s art very unique and different from what can be seen elsewhere.

Our Q&A with Christina

  • What was the name of your first painting and what was it about?

 C.Y: I made my first painting when I was at school, it’s hard to remember but I think it was a painting of the Virgin Mary.

  • How did you come up with the idea of the painting you did on the Dreamtime Drive car?

 C.Y.:  When you go out bush here you see a lot of billabongs and turtles where we go hunting for bush tucker so I wanted to represent the country around here.

  • What do you like to do in your free time?

 C.Y.: I like to go out walking and hunting especially going to all the billabongs during the wet season.

  • Is there an Aboriginal word you would like to share with us?

C.Y.:  Miwulngini (hearing transcription), I don’t know what you call them in English but they are the flowers I painted on the door.

Merrepen Arts

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#5 Long John Dewar – Mimi Arts

P1060976 P1060974Multi-talented, (very) hard working, wise, funny… The list of positive things to say about John is as long as they come, but surely one of the first things we must thank him for is his incredible kindness. Kind enough to donate his amazing talent to the Dreamtime Drive project, for which we must be very grateful to Mimi Arts.

 John’s background is from Arnhem Land but he lives in the Katherine region (Nitmiluk) and is a resident artist of the Mimi Arts & Crafts centre in Katherine. Mimi Arts is a beautiful art centre gathering artwork from the greater Katherine region, West Arnhem Land and southern Top End. As such, the variety of art found there is amazing, with cross-hatching, dot painting and other techniques on diverse material. The efforts and generosity of Mimi Arts can’t be stretched enough, as they donated John’s time and arranged accomodation for the 3-day painting session to work out.

 John’s style, inherited from his Arnhem Land ancestors and in particular his uncle who taught him the art of painting, is the traditional cross-hatching technique, and he is a holder of the Bolung (Rainbow Serpent) dreamtime story, which he has depicted on the Dreamtime Drive car. He has a clear love for painting, and a generous heart as he has donated paintings for different causes.

 We encourage everyone to visit Mimi Arts when travelling to the Top End and we hope they get to meet John, as for us it was a special encounter we will never forget.

Our Q&A with John

  • What was the name of your first painting and what was it about?

J.D.: It’s a very long story and had different animals such as the emu, echidna and kangaroo.

  • How did you come up with the idea of the painting you did on the Dreamtime Drive car?

J.D.:  It’s the story of the Rainbow Serpent who created Nitmiluk and still lives in the water. It created the landscape and also the flowers with the fruit bats that are in his tummy. There is also a mermaid, a barramundi and a freshwater crocodile (note: full details of the story are coming soon)

  • What do you like to do in your free time?

J.D.: I like to play the didgeridoo (Yidaki) when I’m free.

  • Is there an Aboriginal word you would like to share with us?

J.D.:  Bolung is the name of the rainbow snake in the painting.

Mimi Arts

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#6 Loreen Samson & Rosaline Diamond – Roebourne Art Group

Two days before our pP1070496P1070486 copy ainting session at the Roebourne Art Group, Loreen Samson won the award for best painting by a WA Indigenous artist at the Cossack Art Awards. This didn’t prevent her from spending her Monday participating in the Dreamtime Drive painting, while teaching emerging artist Rosaline Diamond.

Both Loreen and Rosaline, and of course the Roebourne Art Group, have shown great generosity in donating their time and talent to the cause. It should then come as no surprise that Loreen has a strong history of political and social justice paintings. Amazingly talented, very engaged and full of quick wit, Loreen has plenty to share and teach to younger artists at the Roebourne Art Group. Rosaline, mentored by Loreen, has shown creative talent in the art of glass and is emerging as a future strong painter of the Roebourne Art Group.

Representing the Pilbara was important for the RAG and we are very grateful to be able to count their region’s rock art style as part of our travelling canvas.

Our Q&A with Loreen

  • What was the name of your first painting and what was it about?

L.S.: I think it was called ‘Chained Man,’ we call it Marra Manga. It was a political painting. At school I really didn’t like to do art but then I started painting to set myself free, to express the pain I felt of what I was seeing out there, and I discovered that other people liked my painting. That’s why I do a lot of social justice artwork.

  • How did you come up with the idea of the painting you did on the Dreamtime Drive car?

L.S.: That painting represents Roebourne and the Pilbara. I’m from the coastline tribe of Ngarluma and that’s where our elders come from. Our ancestors used to paint on rock. The stories come from their rock art so it’s coming from our heart. These stories are part of my journey and my Burrup (dreamtime stories). Rock art is a way to teach and learn.

The story is about how the men climbed up when European people came, they climbed hills to hide and it’s an old story that is always in my heart and I carry it on with me.

  • What do you like to do in your free time?

L.S.: I like to be at home, play and listen to music and have a few. I mix with a lot of people in the community. So much, that I now leave my door open as so many people come and go.

  • Is there a place in Australia that inspires you most?

L.S.: I’m always hungry for everything new so there’s no particular place. Actually the best place for me is the Roebourne Art Group because we get visitors from everywhere, from overseas and I get the chance to share my stories and learn from them.

Roebourne Art Group

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#7 Bernadine Kamarra Johnson – Indigenu

P1070836 P1070843Nested in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD is Indigenu, an Aboriginal Art Gallery that is much more than meets the eye. Tony at the gallery has developed a special relationship with the associated artists and their families and retains a true desire to ‘close the gap’ and a real interest in Aboriginal culture, as  made evident by his delightful aboriginal-inspired finger food treats.

Bernadine’s work is proudly exhibited at Indigenu as many of her artwork is created at 131 Sturt St. Her language group is the famous Arrernte and she has moved to Adelaide from her community of Santa Theresa.  She remains very close to her community and culture as expressed in her Bush Medicine and Bush Yam paintings.

Bernadine’s work is successful nationally and internationally and she has her own personal exhibition coming at Indigenu. Her success and her beautiful design on our car is one of many reasons for Dreamtime Drive to be very thankful to her and to Indigenu.

Our Q&A with Bernadine

  • What was the name of your first painting and what was it about?

B.K.J.: I learnt to paint from my mum and my aunties. I use to watch them painting and I started doing the same paintings as they did in 2008.

  • How did you come up with the idea of the painting you did on the Dreamtime Drive car?

B.K.J.: That painting is about bush medicine and also has some yams in it. The little seeds are falling down from the bush medicine.

  • What do you like to do in your free time?

B.K.J.: I take care of my two children when I’m not painting.

  • Is there in Australia that inspired you most?

B.K.J.: I’d say Alice Springs.


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#8 Raylene and Samantha Snow – Marra Dreaming

P1070871 - copie P1070866 - copyThe eighth panel of the Dreamtime Drive car got painted by a mother and her daugther who take care of Marra Dreaming, a community centre in Salisbury that also operates as an arts gallery.

Raylene and her daughter Samantha are descendants of the Stolen Generation and seasoned contemporary Aboriginal artists who not only paint on regular canvases but also have done outstanding work on murals and other unconventional materials. They are the managers of Marra Dreaming, which they founded 7 years ago as a little art shop with the help of a kick-start business grant.

Marra Dreaming has now evolved into a great gallery of arts and crafts as well as a very important centre for the community of Salisbury. They organise workshops, work with schools and operate as  a drop in centre for all visitors to come and enjoy a cuppa with the volunteers and elders who regularly help with the centre.

Dreamtime Drive is  very thankful to them for taking the time to paint their incredible design on the car in the midst of a busy week and encourage everyone to go and have a look at their impressive premises in Salisbury or visit their website on

Our Q&A with Raylene and Samantha

  • What was the name of your first painting and what was it about?

R.S.: I think my first one was a kingfisher, I was painting on slats at the time.

S.S.: Mine a little kangarro and it must have been 5 years ago!

  • How did you come up with the idea of the painting you did on the Dreamtime Drive car?

R.S.: It is a contemporary piece with traditional colours depicting a meeting place, the sun and a snake that you might call the rainbow serpent. We thought we’d do a meeting place and decided on the snake as you already had a turtle and lizard on the car.

  • What do you like to do in your free time?

R.S.: We like painting in our free time outside of murals, painting just for yourself is a bit different than for work.

Marra Dreaming

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7 thoughts on “Artists

  1. Pingback: Dreamtime Drive

  2. Tali Gallery is proud to represent Danielle’s work in Sydney – she is a remarkably talented and a very versatile artist who has risen to the challenge! She and her partner Shane are such kind and decent people! It was Shane who came up with the brilliant idea of taking off the car door to ensure it would be under cover in the event of rain, and who managed to actually do it, and put it back on! This is such a great cause and we’d urge everyone to get on board!!! Time to make a difference!!!!

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