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By Jesse Sutton 
Age – 17 years
Size – 60cm x 120cm
Medium – Acrylic and raised acrylic on canvas

Grow Big - Yaunati

My name is Jesse Sutton and I am a contemporary Indigenous artist from the Kalkadoon people from Mount Isa in Queensland. This is my interpretation of “Yaunati” which means grow big in the Kalkadoon language.

When the endangered loggerhead mother turtle returns to lay her eggs she is very lucky indeed for she is the only one in a thousand of her friends and family that have survived and made it to adulthood which is 30 years old. From the time the turtles are hatched they face a world of danger on land and in the sea from foxes, birds, sharks and fishing nets to name a few. A mother turtle always returns to the place of her birth to lay her eggs which is why these special places need to be looked after for years to come.

In my painting the small turtles are plentiful as they emerge and start their new lives, as they enter the ocean and the years go by their numbers drop rapidly until only 1 turtle returns to start her family. The spirit trails link all the turtles together as without all of them none would survive to Yaunati. The turtle is a special animal that needs our protection and understanding.


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