In the build up to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Team Scotland is excited to be collaborating with well-known local artist, Leeton Lee, to develop its design theme for the Games. This exciting initiative is part of the Team’s acknowledgement and mark of respect for the First Nations peoples of Australia and specifically the Yugambeh people of South East Queensland.
Team Chef de Mission, Jon Doig OBE, out on the Gold Coast this week for the Chefs de Mission Seminar explained: “When we prepare for each Games, we like to connect with the host country’s culture in the true spirit of the ‘Friendly Games’ and express this in the imagery and branding used within our team area of the Village and for our team hospitality venue, Scotland House.
“Following an introduction from GOLDOC during our last visit, we have been working with Leeton over recent months to develop a meaningful piece of original artwork, which our design agency Brand Oath can then adapt for use across a range of promotional materials.
“We are thrilled with what he has produced and how it tells the story of our journey to Gold Coast. We are looking forward to coming back with our athletes in April and seeing how it beautifully illustrates the connection between our two countries and our enthusiasm for participating in these Games.”
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artist, Leeton Lee, began his painting journey in early 2013 and he is developing his art continually. His paintings are both stories that have been told to him and stories of his personal journey and in this case he has customised a painting to illustrate Team Scotland’s story.
Talking about the project, Leeton Lee said: “I am very excited to have been approached to design the story for Team Scotland and tell their journey through my art. I was also happy to know that part of the reason for the use of Aboriginal art was as an acknowledgement to the First Nations peoples here in Australia. I love sharing my culture and art with people any chance I get.”
Explaining the story in the design he added: “It starts on the far-left hand side of the painting where Team Scotland is assembling their athletes from the north, south, east, and west, where the athletes have been competing for places for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. From that central meeting place the team travels across the ocean to the Gold Coast where the main large meeting place is representing the Commonwealth Games. It will be not only a gathering of many people, but will be watched by billions around the world.
“The travel from there is to Scotland House and further north to the Athletes Village which will be the focal point of the Games, surrounded by athletes from all the many other teams. Top left from the main gathering are the many functions and events that will be attended and the far right top corner represents the eight clans of the Yugambeh people acknowledged. The bottom right corner represents the many places travelled and visited throughout the duration of the stay.
“Local Yugambeh Elders have expressed gratitude to be acknowledged in this way.”
The artwork has been approved for use in promotional materials to be used by Team Scotland for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games by the Yugambeh Elders Advisory Group via GOLDOC.
Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones said the Games gave Queenslanders a platform to celebrate two of the world’s oldest living cultures — those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“The Games will proudly share the cultures and contributions of our First Nations peoples across art, culture, business and every day life,” she said.
“It’s great that locals, visitors and sporting groups like Team Scotland are coming together to share the stories and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders.
“The GC2018 Reconciliation Action Plan is an Australian first for major events and helps to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to get involved with the Games through employment, procurement and volunteering.”