A chat with Kate Constantine

Kate Constantine

Gadigal artist from the Eora nation.
Creating art, love & life on Bundjalung Country Byron Bay

Tell us about yourself:

I am a contemporary Aboriginal artist from the Eora Nation (Sydney Basin). I am a proud Gadigal woman, mother and activist.

Tell us about your family:

They are the best! A total bunch of maniacs! There’s Shae, my sidekick, best friend and love of my life. Zane who’s just turned 6 and wants to be “the bra” (short for David Attenborough) when he grows up. Ethan who’s 2 and 1/2 and is in energiser bunny destroy mode from 5am til 7pm daily!

And Charlie Djarrawunang (means magpie in Gadigal language) my gentle fomo induced 12-week baby that may as well be surgically attached for the amount of time we spend apart has been a total of 15 mins I was on stage doing my TEDx talk recently! 

What do you find most challenging about being a Mum? 

The guilt!! I’m forever guilty about spending too much time with the baby and missing my big boys, or vice versa. The same goes for family time vs painting time – there just isn’t enough time in the day EVER!

When did you first start painting? 

When I was 5-6yrs old. I’ve always been creative, drawing and painting Birthday cards as a kid and then comic strips when I was older. I even studied interior architecture at Uni as I thought it would be all about drawing amazing geometric spaces. Alas, it was a tonne of math, and math and I are not friends!

Where do you find inspiration? 

In nature, everywhere I look really. 

At what point did you consider yourself an artist? 

I’m not sure I do consider myself an artist yet!! But I reckon my galleries probably do!

Tell us about your workshops, what can people expect? 

Fun and a totally chilled out vibe. Dot painting is like a rhythmic meditation. As someone who suffers with chronic pain, the dotting just settles the nervous system and grounds your nerves. It’s gentle – so I like to show people how to get to the place and then in a circle we paint together! 

It’s such a beautiful way to share space with other like-minded people. You can chat, or be quiet – it’s however it flows for you on the day.

What advice would you give aspiring artists?

Work hard and don’t wait for it to happen. 

What can we do more to support First Nations people and businesses?

This can be super confusing for Allies, the best thing to do is buy direct from the source or for art only buy from galleries / establishments that are members of Aboriginal Art Association of Australia or the Indigenous Art Code. These bodies have already vetted their members and ensure that money reaches the artist. 

///