'Ruwe' by Jaz Stewart is the winning design entry of the 2022 USC Student Diary Cover Artwork Competition.
This year's Student Diary Artwork Cover theme was 'Life below water'.
Jaz's artwork entry will be featured on the cover of the 2022 Student Diary and may also be displayed at USC campuses in posters and publications throughout the year.
The Student Communications and Events team would like to thank everyone who submitted their artwork and everyone who voted!
You feel the splashing of water against your legs as you wade into the sea. Sand moves beneath your feet. Birds chirp in the trees. The wind rustles the leaves, and crisp air hits your face. The spear in your hand is propelled by your strength and trained eye, catching a fish. You throw it in the woven basket with the others. That should be enough tucker to feed your community tonight. Before heading in, you decide to take a quick dip in the water. The river immerses you as you relax in the substance that sustains you.
‘Life below water’
Water keeps us alive. It connects us. Human beings are on a journey, like the way water flows. I am Pitjantjatjara and Ngarrindgeri mob. I was born and grew up on Ngarrindjeri land, and moved up to the Sunshine Coast, Gubbi Gubbi land, when I was eleven. Ngarrindjeri people are water people. Water is described as the life blood for our people. In my language, ruwe means land and water.
My artwork has been inspired by my experiences and knowledge of ruwe. It represents the links that the University of the Sunshine Coast has to water. Symbols are used to create the image the university holds, which is one of sustainability. It shows that we as students can live peacefully alongside native flora and fauna. Notable features of the work are kangaroo prints, waterways, community learning around water, water lilies, seaweed, and symbolism of journey. The reason I added kangaroo tracks to the art is because USC is a sanctuary for these iconic native creatures, and they are an important part of the lands. The rest of the artwork focuses on water related symbols. In the top corner, symbols represent a waterway; a journey. Underneath, there are kangaroo tracks surrounded by water lilies. They were chosen as a symbol of life and the continuation of culture. Fun fact: every part of a water lily is edible. They can be seen as the patterned circles around the kangaroo tracks. In the middle of the artwork are four groups. These groups represent community, connected by a journey. This is to convey that as students, we all have a collective job to do; ensure the survival of the land we all live on.
In the bottom corner, the Dreamtime story of Coolum, Ninderry, and Maroochy is portrayed in dot art. Mount Ninderry, Mount Coolum, Old Woman Island, and Chambers island are in yellow and accurately placed on the dot map. Aboriginal knowledge and science go hand-in-hand. To sustain the land, we must listen to the traditional custodians who know this land better than anyone. Dreamtime stories are a wonderful part of our cultures, and the story in particular is one that I’m sure most people who live on the Sunshine Coast know. It tells the story of how the waterways came to be.