Tyrown Waigana is a Noongar and Saibai Islander residing in Perth, West Australia. He began creating from an early age and has been drawing for as long as he can remember. With a Bachelor of Arts from Curtin University under his wing, Tyrown now runs Crawlin Crocodile offering a range of art and design services.
We recently caught up with Tyrown to chat about his work in the 2020 Revealed exhibition and to congratulate him on winning this year’s NAIDOC Poster Competition.
Hi Tyrown, can you tell us about your art practice and what inspired you to start creating?
My practice includes illustration, painting, sculpture, animation, and graphic design. I tend to go through phases of each. I think a lot of my paintings and sculptures deal with surreal situations and escaping reality, however it’s pretty ambiguous. My animation work is short comedy skits and tries to provide insights into how people around me behave or at least how I observe them. My graphic design work is contemporary/traditional Indigenous art, bridging the gap of indigenous art on digital platforms.
Last year Revealed featured a selection of your paintings, drawings, and sculpture, this year you have an animation called Mostly Brown People in the exhibition. When did you start working with animation and what was the inspiration behind the work?
I started working in animation in 2017. I picked up a unit at uni which covered the basics. Since then I’ve been slowly learning more about it and creating animated content. It’s just the funny stuff I see or think of. My dad says a lot of contradictory things that are hilarious. Sometimes I start animating one story and a completely different story comes out, so I make it up as I go, it’s whatever I think will be funnier. It’s also a matter of how quickly I can be funny because animation takes a long time to make and people’s attention spans aren’t very big on social media, I know mine isn’t. Revealed really allowed me to accumulate my work and gave me a platform where people will take the time to watch my animations.
In other exciting news, you’ve just won the 2020 National NAIDOC Poster competition. Can you tell us about the work?
It depicts the story of the Rainbow Serpent which came out of the Dream Time to create the land. The story says that the land was once flat and the Rainbow Serpent came and shaped the land with its massive body. When it moved it created low riverways and high ridges before taking its final resting play at Uluru. My artwork also shows that Indigenous people are connected to this great spirit, therefore the land has been created for us.
What’s up next? Do you have any exciting projects or exhibitions in the pipeline?
I am trying to get an animated web series off the ground based on my comic book that is yet to be published. It’s titled The Rest of Your Life’s Gonna be Shit and it follows an Aboriginal teen’s days at high school. It provides insights into growing up as an indigenous person in an urban, working-class and very multicultural area. It also has some surreal situations and lots of comedy.