Indigenous Genomics Patient Journey


Title: Indigenous Genomics Patient Journey

Artist: Brooke Sutton

Project: Indigenous Genomics Health Literacy Project


My name is Brooke Sutton and I am a contemporary indigenous artist from the Kalkadoon people living in the Bundaberg region in Queensland. This painting is called “Indigenous Genomics Patient Journey”

The community symbol in the centre of the painting, with the three handprints represents family and genetics, with the yellow, orange and brown colouring being passed down through the generations. The blue people symbols (x’s) around the handprints represent the genes that contain all of our DNA.


The strand of double helix DNA flows through the centre of the piece, connecting science and nature, with the hexagons in the blue, not only representing bees and a bee hives but also the different components of DNA.

The green dots connected by lines representing neurons and molecule structure which connect to the gum nuts and leaves.

In the yellow, The golden ratio also represents a sea shell, which connects to the sea star and the turtle, all of which are iconic for the Bundaberg region along with is its beautiful beaches and oceans represented by the water holes (blue circles) and yellow dots and for its native plants, like the pandanis palms, black boys and gum trees.

The aqua community symbol contains a pregnant woman in the centre, along with baby symbols which represents pregnancy and birth and the orange people symbols (u’s) around the aqua community symbol represent generations of family.

The boomerang and dhari represent aboriginal and Torres strait islander culture and their connection to the land and the footprints, which travel through the centre of the painting represent the indigenous genomics patients’ journey.

The red and pink patches with the blood drops, needles and vials represent blood tests and the different blood types, as well as modern medicine and the butterflies represent health and how in nature when there are no butterflies the land is sick. The white dotted circles connected by the spirit trails represents the patents journeys and the communities they come from.

By Brooke Sutton                            

Age – 15 years

Size – 61cm wide X 91cm high

Medium – Acrylic and textured acrylic on canvas