Waratah Seed is pleased to announce the commissioning of award winning Wurundjeri artist Grace Brown, to design the Waratah Seed 2024 mission patch.
As Australia’s first ride-share mission, flying an Australian-built 6U CubeSat into Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Waratah Seed sought to commission an artist to both celebrate the mission and acknowledge the rich culture and history of Australia.
This collaboration represents Waratah Seed’s commitment to celebrating Aboriginal culture and art, while amplifying the importance of Indigenous knowledges and history on this significant space mission.
Grace Brown’s artist practice is one of both discovery and storytelling. Through her art she explores dreamtime stories, her connections to her heritage and to Country. Grace Brown was born in Victoria and is a proud Wurundjeri woman. Woiwurrung is her language group and is shared by the other tribal territory groups and clans within the Woiwurrung territory.
“I have a strong connection to family, land, language and culture. This forms the foundation for my art. Art connects me to my people and the important knowledge holders within my community. Aboriginal art is based on dreamtime stories and a large proportion of my artworks have important ancestral stories within them. They are centred on the dreamtime which have been handed down from generations before me.” - Grace Brown
Waratah Seed sought to commission a mission patch with Grace Brown, upon learning of her artwork and its rich exploration of dreamtime stories, specifically the waratah flower. Waratah is a Sydney word meaning “beautiful” and “seen from afar” and represents a powerful and poignant connection between the space mission and Aboriginal Australia, particularly Gadigal land where CUAVA offices are situated.
“The name Waratah Seed for our satellite project was originally chosen because the Waratah is the state flower for NSW and the project is a seed from which we hope a vibrant, strong, and sustainable space industry will grow in NSW and in Australia” – Professor Iver Cairns, Director of Waratah Seed
Grace Brown’s artwork White Waratah Dreaming captures the sun rising over a field of dreamtime waratahs in bloom. In the Dreamtime all waratah plants were white.
“The dreamtime story of the white Waratah tells the story of two Wonga Pigeons and how they would always do everything together. While searching for food the female Wonga pigeon was injured by a hawk, she bled from her heart down onto the white waratah flowers, transforming them to a beautiful red waratah which can be seen from afar. The white waratah is considered very rare just like the Waratah Seed Space Mission. The extended story is a symbolism of regeneration, healing and strength by us all working together. This dreamtime story is an example of how everyone should work together and how this is the key to our success.” - Grace Brown
We are incredibly fortunate to collaborate with Grace Brown, whose artwork will bring a unique and profound perspective to our mission. Watch this space as we unveil the incredible artwork that Grace Brown will create for Waratah Seed's mission patch.