"Creating gives me a sense of freedom and connection to our culture and ancestors."
Krystal Hurst is a Worimi artist and owner of Gillawarra Arts, a creative arts business originating from the Mid North Coast of NSW and now based in Canberra, ACT. She is a jewellery designer, painter, cultural facilitator with a vision for women and men to feel strong, connected and empowered. With traditional techniques such as weaving, twining, burning and threading, Krystal’s inspiration comes from Country, memories, stories and community integrated in an a meaningful way.
Krystal specialises in contemporary Aboriginal artworks on canvas, murals and running workshops. She has been commissioned to create artworks for many government, non-government and community organisations as well as supporting fundraising initiatives. Krystal was awarded ACT NAIDOC Artist of the Year in 2017 and was recently featured in the Indigenous women in business ‘Morning Sky Project’.
Krystal has been involved in the Indigenous Jewellery Project and the Indigenous Jewellery Intensive Workshop held at the National Gallery of Victoria in partnership with the Koorie Heritage Trust to develop and promote Aboriginal makers in 2018. Alongside her niece Angie, together they developed jewellery designs for the Culture to Catwalk fashion show in partnership with the National Gallery of Australia. More recently, Krystal was featured among many artists in the Emerging Contemporaries at Craft ACT Canberra and the Aboriginal Bush Traders Bush Bling exhibition.
Recently, Krystal was accepted as finalist in the prestigious Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA) for her piece, "Resilience". She is the second contemporary jeweller to be accepted and the first from NSW in the NATSIAAs.
"When you share aspects of your culture, you are sharing a part of you. An identity of a thousand voices echoing through the land, and within yourself. An identity flowing through the bloodstream of your spirit. The stories of our ancestors speak and live on by the rhythm of our tongue. We must not stop the rhythm of storytelling."