Michellie Jade Charvat
Bachelor of Creative Arts, Bendigo
I am a proud Palawa, Tasmanian Islander woman. I live on Dja Dja Wurrung Country.
My artwork explores my personal relationship with my Aboriginal culture and spiritual practices, beliefs and wisdom through the context and discipline of Martial Arts, Muay Thai. My process uses digital drawing, print media, photography and audio with a commentary on the politics surrounding women in martial arts and cultural appropriation.
I have been training in Muay Thai for a few years now and it has become a deep passion and a great part of my identity. When I started my journey in Muay Thai, I almost felt like I was betraying my Aboriginal culture: I was concerned how immersed and passionate I have become about the deeply embedded Thai culture of Muay Thai and martial arts. As I continued my journey in Muay Thai, I actively included some of my Aboriginal spiritual practices in my training rituals. This led me to reconnect with my warrior heritage as a direct descendant of Mannalargenna; a spiritual warrior that fought to protect his tribe and family during the colonisation of Tasmania.
Fighting is in my ancestral bloodline. It felt safe to welcome this passion into my identity, art practice and life in a deep way: I call upon Mannalargenna in my battles within life so why not in the ring?