Ambrose Killian | NAIDOC Week
Everyone has their own role, or ‘lane’ in the coming years as we move towards reconciliation and a better understanding, love and appreciation of the world’s oldest living culture. Whether it be through protest, music, social media statuses or film and documentary, but I truly believe my role is expressing and sharing stories through my passion of artwork and continuing my Nana’s story of being stolen from the Desert and taken over 1500km North to Melville Island at the age of 3. By doing this I can both reveal the trauma of our people and how this directly affects a young man who now lives in a large city like Brisbane but also showcase how beautiful and truly under-appreciated our culture is to a lot of people – to no fault of their own, but because of an old system that has traditionally left off Indigenous History from curriculum and education.
From this passion of painting dating back to as long as I can remember myself and friend Matt Robert created our business Ngalin Ayeye (Nah-lin Ah-yeeyah). We now collaborate with schools, businesses and sports teams predominantly around SEQ and share our family story, artwork and cultural knowledge in an effort to broaden the knowledge of our culture through Urban areas like Brisbane.
I had always been an extremely active kid, playing everything and everything thrown at me through my youth. Funnily enough I always avoided endurance specific sport – I loved the track and anything that involved sprinting and jumping. I would purposely finish our annual cross country run just outside of the school team selection position, so I didn’t have to do any extra long distance running through the term – how times have changed! It wasn’t until mid 2021 that I found I had time back on my hands. I had finished juggling full time work as a Transport Manager at a large business near the Port of Brisbane and had moved into working on the Business full time. The 60- 70 hour work week of 2 jobs and fatherhood had meant a cheeky beer or 3 and a couple of wines at night had snuck up on me – I was 10kg overweight and my brother beat me in a 5km which resulted in me puking up by the end of the race on a popular pathway by the waterfront.
To say I’m competitive is probably an understatement, so I strapped on the old dusty sneakers and started running every night vouching to never let my siblings beat me in a run-off for as long as I had 2 legs and more importantly to be a strong, healthy role model for my kids. The time spent alone, running at night reignited my passion for moving and that delicate relationship between pain and enjoyment. I found Fractel scrolling through Instagram and saw their last Indigenous collaboration from 2021 with the Red Sands and Ananyi edition hats and had to have them. The running community never fails to amaze me – I don’t think there’s anything quite like it. Meeting people who enjoy a social run or parkrun on weekends, all the way to cyborgs who run 9km of elevation (Kent!) for a great cause and everyone in between. So it’s been deadly to collaborate with my favourite hat and local business in Fractel and to add some of my own personal flare and artwork to one of their designs for the community to enjoy as well.
‘My artwork Apmere – which means Country in Arrernte language - was a large painting that I completed for our Exhibition in 2020. It is a birds eye view of our country in Santa Teresa, approx. 1 hour South East from Alice Springs, traditionally known as Ltyentye Apurte. The painting takes your eyes through an array of patterns and dots, which depict an abstract and alternate viewpoint of this particular desert country. The colours used represent the desert, with specks of earthy yellow, browns, deep blues and greens. The blues represent the hidden waterholes, known traditionally by my ancestors prior to settlement. The series of mustard-yellow circles on the bottom middle-right of canvas represent the exact location of the small community and mission of Santa Teresa. This is the location of where Ambrose’s Nanna, Barbara Anne Chisholm was stolen from her mother and family, and taken up to Melville Island.’
The Limited Edition APMERE Collection designed in collaboration with Ambrose is available online here Monday 04.07.22.