‘Gather’ is an innovative space for Aboriginal communities to connect with their cultural heritage.
Gamilaraay and Mandandanji artist and animator Jake Duczynski was selected as part of a competitive process to create the artwork for the new State Library site. His work explores Aboriginal culture through animation and storytelling, and he is interested in how technology can assist in cultural collaborations, preserving culture and visualising worlds.
Can you tell us about the Gather site?
A site like Gather is incredibly important. It acts as a digital conduit between institutional collections and the communities seeking those materials and knowledge. So I felt it was important to develop a visual identity that reflected interconnectedness – much like First Nations lore, which is multifaceted and can span across an entire cultural mosaic, adhering to traditional protocols and sensitivities.
What inspired you to create the category icons and the horizontal scroll feature?
I developed category icons to build a network that reflected the Library’s growing collection. They represent different nodes of the website or a particular archival stream. Together – side by side – you start to indirectly build a map that has the option to expand sideways as new content emerges. This moves away from the traditional layout of a website and remains relatively adaptable to change and growth.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I wanted to develop a visual identity that celebrates the fluidity of contemporary Indigenous culture, but simultaneously acknowledges foundations in tradition. I wanted to emphasise the fact that we are not stagnant or defined only by what it was to be Indigenous pre-colonisation. But instead, celebrate the fact that First Nations people exist in so many innovative spaces today - and we are thriving.