Dan Sultan partners with Fender for NAIDOC guitar art auction
Revered singer-songwriter and Arrernte man Dan Sultan has tapped two Indigenous artists to paint a pair of Fender guitars to auction for Children’s Ground.
Coinciding with NAIDOC Week, the art project features the talents of Otis Carey and Niah McLeod, who were each donated a US-made Fender guitar to paint for the auction.
All proceeds will be donated to Children’s Ground, a First Nations-led foundation that works with Indigenous communities over a 25-year period to instigate meaningful community development and assist in providing opportunities to Elders and infants alike.
Carey’s artwork, dubbed ‘GAAGAL (Ocean)’ and painted upon an American Professional II Stratocaster, pays homage to the lands and ocean of Coffs Harbour, and is named after a totem of the Gumbaynggirr people.
Meanwhile, McLeod’s ‘NGUDJUNG YUGARANG (Mother’s Heartbeat)’ puts a contemporary twist on traditional dot artwork, with intricate designs inlaid across the body and neck of an American Acoustasonic Stratocaster for a bold aesthetic.
Sultan celebrated the contributions of both Carey and McLeod to the project and noted the significance of Children’s Ground’s left-field take on community development.
“It’s an approach that works, you can see that from our success on this country for tens of thousands of years,” Sultan said.
“So, I will be loud about this: Children’s Ground is backing the knowledge systems that we know work and which the world is going to need.”
Fender Music Australia’s general manager Mark Amory reaffirmed Sultan’s sentiment and highlighted Fender’s involvement in the project.
“Fender’s mission from the start has been to fuel the creative expression of players,” Amory said.
“Children’s Ground has the same essential beliefs of empowerment and self-determination for First Nations communities. They champion replacing the status quo of disadvantage with opportunity.
“We fully support their goals and are proud to be able to lend some assistance.”
Both instruments are fully playable and will remain on auction until Sunday July 25, with further details available via Children’s Ground.