By Jen Gourley
Kilburnie Homestead, 15km from Jambin, has had many visitors over the years, but today there was a special delivery brought by some equally special visitors.
With the homestead celebrating its 140th anniversary this year, and marking the occasion with a limited-edition magazine, “Kilburnie 140”, to be published in March, an artwork was commissioned for its glossy cover.
This morning, artist Brandon Butler and his family travelled from Rockhampton to present Kilburnie Homestead’s curator and project manager Fiona Hayward with his stunning painting “Jambin Country”.
Brandon is a proud Aboriginal and South Sea Islander man and a talented young artist. He was delighted to be able to bring not just his wife Eden and his young daughter Honey to the presentation, but also his parents Joe and Kaylene Butler who were visiting from Bowen.
“Jambin Country” with its rich colours and intricate detail will make a beautiful cover for the magazine, and the artwork itself will take pride of place in the heritage-listed homestead.
Brandon’s painting “depicts the traditional homelands and surrounding areas of Gangulu Country, where Kilburnie Homestead sits today. Jambin township is located on Gangulu Country and Jambin is the language name for the Echidna”.
His artwork details the connection between Jambin and Gangulu Country, with not only echidnas depicted but also ants, a main food source in the area. It shows a gathering which signifies the community as a whole and displays the significance of everyone playing their part and coming together as one.
“The artwork also includes the symbol of kinship which is my interpretation of Kilburnie’s relationship to connect to country and pay respect to the traditional owners of this land,” Brandon wrote in his description of the artwork.
Kilburnie Homestead acknowledges the Gangulu People as the traditional owners of the land where it sits. For Fiona, a descendant of the pioneering Campbell family who built the homestead, the artwork makes a fitting cover for the magazine and a welcome addition to the walls of the historic building.
“I’m actually a bit lost for words,” said Fiona, when asked how she felt about “Jambin Country. “I think I feel very honoured to have this, and also that Brandon put the ants on it. And if people haven’t been at Kilburnie they might not get the significance of the ants. But the ants are amazing and it is a beautiful artwork in itself.
“It’s an incredible artwork, but also it’s got so much meaning and it’s really special to have this in Kilburnie. Now, because even though maybe in the past we haven’t always been great at acknowledging the First People, I feel like having this here gives us a talking point to actually have conversations with people about that. So, it’s pretty special.”
“Kilburnie 140” magazine will be available from late March. For more information, go to Kilburnie Homestead on Strikingly (mystrikingly.com)