Woman of the South (Natalie Childs), born on Dharawal country with kinship ties to the Bundjalung Nation, is a young emerging artist living in Manyana NSW. Natalie began painting as a means to connect with her late grandmother Mary in lockdown 2020 while living on Bundjalung country where her grandmother was born. Now painting from her sunlit home studio on Yuin Country (the Country where her grandmother passed). Natalie is passionate about storytelling through her art, inspired by country, and guided by Ancestry. “As kids, my 2 sisters, 2 brothers and I spent most of our childhood alongside the riverbanks of western Sydney with my father. He taught us all how to fish, and how to recognise and name Australian gums. He told us all he knew about the waterways, soil, and native animals but most of all, he showed us the importance of silence and presence when in nature. How to truly connect with country by listening. His mother, my beautiful grandmother Mary, was born on Bundjalung country. Her father was tragically killed when she was a young girl. She was taken from her mother to a state ward home in Gladesville, and was made to feel ashamed of her heritage and culture. Throughout my childhood, we knew about nan's background, but we were never allowed to speak of it. My art is my own representation of country, womanhood, ceremony and sacredness. I feel my work is a fusion of abstract, landscape and contemporary intuitive Aboriginal art. I like to think that with every moment I spend planning a piece, with every brushstroke and each time the dot work kisses the canvas, I help release the shame and ancestral trauma for my nan and our extended family. Also a yoga and meditation teacher, I enjoy setting up my intentional work space, meditating and connecting to the spirit of my beautiful nan before beginning each piece. Breaking the cycle of shame is really important to me. I do this by passing down this practice to my 9-year-old daughter Kaylee.” I pay my respects to country and, acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Elders past, present and emerging. I honour our continuing connection to country, sea and culture. Always was, Always will be Aboriginal land.