Uncle Norm Stewart


Uncle Norm

My name is Norm Yackaduna Stewart. I paint under my great great grandfather Tommy McCrae, traditional name of Yackaduna, which means something around initiation.

Tommy McCrae's mother was from the Kwat Kwat tribe and his father is Burnum Burnum of the Wurundjeri tribe.

I was born along the southcoast of NSW to Ellen Morgan and Norm Stewart Snr. I lived most of my childhood in the homes for boys and girls as stolen generation. Growing up, I lived in Melbourne before returning to my homelands in the country where I began to paint at a late stage.

The main inspiration of my painting was from yarns about our culture and spiritual places when talking with Elders.

Art has given me great pleasure by what can be produced.

Self portrait

Sovereignty Never Ceded

My painting depicts sovereignty over our traditional land through the lines that represents sky, earth and water. The figures are painted in the style of my great great grandfather Yackaduna in which our people are doing corroboree and teaching song lines.

The designs on the chair represents the possum skin cloaks that were worn.

The background tells the story of Dhungala (Murray River) system and the kidneys (Moira lakes and Barmah lakes). The three rivers meet at the junction known as Echuca, which means meeting of the waters.

The painted face connects me to my tribe Kwat Kwat.