My name is Jessie Waratah. I am Gamilaraay and Warlpiri woman. I was born in Bulanamming in Sydney. I am a visual and performing artist and lead singer in the band, Subtle Mullets.
I have been making art since I was a child and working as a freelance artist for the past eight years. My art making includes painting, sculpture, ceramics and digital design. For the past four years, I have been hosting workshops in primary schools and NGOs, designing installations and murals with students and community members. I have also been doing commissioned pieces and have collaborated on several public art installations with MadWings, founded by Jason Wing and Maddie Gibson. I have a Certificate IV in Visual Cultural Arts from EORA TAFE.
As my father tells it, from the age of three, my aunties and grandmothers began passing down their knowledge and techniques of art making according to my skin, Naparurrla. They also shared with me their own depictions of the Tjukurrpa (Dreaming). I have strived to learn from and honour all who have taught me, and continue to teach me, and to give back whenever I can to my family and community.
For the past year or so I have been youth representative on the Management Committee for the Lillian Howell Project, a specialist homelessness service for young women and girls in Sydney’s Inner West, and I am a longstanding member of Youth Block’s Youthfrontline Committee, advocating for young peoples’
social and emotional wellbeing. In 2019, I was recipient of the City of Sydney’s Betty Makin Youth Week Award, Community Minded.