First Nations

Hanwha’s committment to protecting & honouring the culture of Australia's first Indigenous Peoples

As part of Hanwha Defence Australia's journey to protect and honour the culture of Australia's first Indigineous peoples, Worimi man Gerard Black was commissioned in 2023 to compose a captivating piece to serve as a powerful reminder of ensuring the well-being of all life for generations to come.

Artwork by Gerard Black Worimi

The forefront of the artwork is a captivating representation of the unity between Hanwha and First Nations people.

At the centre, a meeting place depicts the convergence of two tribes, symbolising the harmonious coming together. Flanking this central motif are a shield and two crossed spears, embodying both the defence of the people and their land, as well as the pursuit of peace and harmony. The outer circle illustrates two tribes embarking on a journey to unite and bring peace to the land.  

In a tribute to Hanwha's new facilities on Wadawurrung Country, the Huntsman and Redback spider are integrated into the artwork, symbolising the first two vehicles to be created at this remarkable location. This inclusion pays homage to the Wadawurrung people, acknowledging their past, present, and emerging presence on the land.  

The broader narrative of the artwork extends to a seamless merging of land, sea, and sky, reflecting the deep connection ingrained in First Nations Australian culture. Gerard's chosen colours pay homage to the diverse hues of the Australian landscape, with warm earth tones blending effortlessly with cool blues and greens.  

The land is portrayed through sweeping curves and undulating lines, symbolising the ever-changing nature of the earth and embodying the resilience and adaptability of both the First Nations peoples and the natural environment. The sea comes to life with fluid brush strokes, capturing the ebb and flow of the tides and showcasing the dynamic relationship between First Nations communities and the sustaining waters.  

Above, a celestial expanse of stars decorates the sky, symbolising the cosmic connection between humanity and the universe. This backdrop serves as a reminder of the enduring presence of the Dreaming and ancestral stories woven throughout nature, urging viewers to embrace stillness, listen, and learn from the wisdom of the land.  

In the foreground, a diverse array of flora and fauna, significant in First Nations Australian culture, intertwines, highlighting the delicate balance and interdependence within the natural world. This imagery serves as a poignant reminder that our actions today shape the world for future generations.  

The artwork is an invitation to honour and respect the culture and traditions of the Country, emphasising that by nurturing our connection to the land, we ensure the well-being of all life for generations to come. It powerfully signifies that the legacy we leave is built upon the foundation of wisdom, harmony, and reverence for the natural world. Gerard Black's masterful merging of two worlds celebrates the profound connection between Hanwha Defence Australia, First Nations communities, and the land, sea, and sky of Australia.

About the Artist

Gerard Black is a proud Worimi Man. After a 10 year career as a tattoo artist Gerard is now focusing on his painting, drawing and digital art. His work reflects his Indigenous background, storytelling and his love of nature and draws on his strong design background from tattooing to produce a unique style of art. This together connects ancient Indigenous art with modern design and medium, bringing them together into the future, creating a new modern style promoting reconciliation and connection.

Gerard's work establishes a link between landscapes, reality and the spirit within, as Gerard often uses actual topographic maps as the basis for his artwork. He uses the physical colours, shapes and landmarks as a jumping off point. He then uses ancient designs and patterns to symbolise the different aspects of his art, tap into his Indigenous heritage with designs, shapes, colours and themes.

Every single work of art that Gerard produces has a story connecting the art to a specific place, area or theme, every stroke has meaning, nothing is random.

Gerard Black has worked with Rip Curl, Adobe (Adobe Ambassador), The Australian Open (Marriott Bonvoy), The NRL Newcastle Knights, NSW EPA and National Parks and won the Koorie Heritage Trust Koorie Art Show 2 consecutive years for 2021 and 2022 People's Choice Award - To mention just a few recent career highlights of this emerging yet already highly accomplished Artist.