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From megafauna to the Mint: an artistic timeline of Australian history

Madelaine Dickie -

Artist Chern'ee Sutton collected more than 6000 fingerprints from athletes and dignitaries during the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games for a nine-metre-long artwork that is on display at the Royal Australian Mint.

The artwork, Caina Putut, IIya, Wartanganha - Long ago, Today, Tomorrow, was created during Sutton's residency at the athletes' village. Those who made their marks on the painting included Prince Charles and swimming legend Dawn Fraser.

During the games, dignitaries, athletes and guests placed their fingerprints in 11 circles representing the 11 days of competition, while medallists added their fingerprints to the gold, silver and bronze circles representing the medals.

Ms Sutton, of the Kalkadoon people from the Mount Isa area in Queensland, said she wanted her artwork to help educate the world about Australia's rich history and culture.

"Caina Putut, IIya, Wartanganha means Long ago, Today, Tomorrow in the Kalkadoon language and is a timeline of Australia's history, from Aboriginal people living alongside megafauna to present day Australia," she said.

Caina Putut, IIya, Wartanganha - Long ago, Today, Tomorrow will be on display at the Mint until February. Entry is free.

To see more of Ms Sutton's work, visit her website:

By Wendy Caccetta


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