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"My People Are Storytellers"

5 Jul 2021 | Lakkari Pitt

Hardie Grant Explore is proud to publish First Nations voices.

To celebrate NAIDOC Week and recognise its 2021 theme Heal Country! we asked several First Nations authors and artists published by Hardie Grant about their publishing experiences and the impact of storytelling on national heritage and future generations.

Interview with artist Lakkari Pitt

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Lakkari Pitt is a proud Gamilaroi Yuwaalaraay woman from Walgett, Australia. Lakkari's art is a contemporary take on the knowledge that her Elders and significant people in her life have passed down to her through generations. Her art explores the movement, essence and stories of Country. She is the artist behind the beautiful puzzle Renewal, and the poetry collection Homeland Calling by Desert Pea Media. 

What does your role as a published artist mean to you?

First word that comes to mind is Dirrabu, which means amazing or excellent in Gamilaroi language! It’s a great feeling to have someone believe in you as both a proud Gamilaroi and Ularoi yinarr (woman) and also as an artist! 

What do you most hope people will take away from Renewal?

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Renewal is a bright and colourful artwork. I really hope when people engage with it, they feel happiness and joy.

How do books, art and shared stories impact future generations and our national heritage? 

My people are storytellers, so to have our stories that we want told accessible, whether it be visualised in artworks or written in books, is a way for people to respectfully engage with our beautiful culture.

What stories and voices do you want to see more of on future Australian bookshelves? 

I love seeing people who I personally know succeed. I have mob working in community as educators, health practitioners, supporting our youth, in media and as professional athletes (the list could go on). All my mob and friends speak on their lived experience as Aboriginal people. These are the stories that need to be heard!

Renewal is your first work published with Hardie Grant, what struck you about working on this project? Was anything unexpected in the experience?

I was just honoured Hardie Grant approached me to publish my art on a puzzle! SO DEADLY! The only thing unexpected was how much positivity I have received about the puzzle. I am forever grateful.