Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that there may be images displayed of a deceased person. These artworks have been released with the permission of Aaron's next of kin (Mother and Father). Acknowledgement is also given to family and ‘Spirit of Australia Gallery’ for providing images of artworks that are used in this print range.
Aaron Jungai Cora was born 15th May 1981 in Mildura, Victoria however spent majority of his life as a ‘Minjungbal’ descendant on the southern end of the Gold Coast, Queensland, and Tweed Heads region of New South Wales. Like many generations before him, Aaron called this area his home and being a saltwater man, he loved to fish, gather pippies and catch crabs with his family just like his ancestors before him.
As a teenager Aaron learnt the cultural dances, performing them at the Minjungbal Museum in South Tweed Heads with other local indigenous men and family for visitors. Additionally, Aaron connected with some Nunukal men (Walker brothers) from Stradbroke Island who taught their storylines, dances, and cultural knowledge. These men gave Aaron his tribal name of ‘Jungai’ which means Brolga in their Gandai language of eastern Brisbane and the coastal islands of that area.
Aaron then presented alongside those teachers daily at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary during the mid-90’s.
Pigface at Dawn by Aaron Cora
Aaron Jungai Cora (image by Judi Hunter)
Aaron learnt many aspects of Aboriginal culture along the way from dreaming stories, dancing, ancestral storylines, and playing the didgeridoo. Eventually he began to paint Aboriginal artworks to represent his local stories and those handed down to him from his teachers. These stories depicted animals and abstract styled works which evolved over time as his passion grew.
Practicing the ancient language part time for many years eventually led him to finding his own style. Aaron showcased his works in a galleries in Byron Bay NSW and Surfers Paradise QLD with collectors throughout Australia and overseas. Aaron was a proud cultural man. He enjoyed presenting culture in the local community with family or travelling to other communities to share his culture through song and dance at various events. A highlight was travelling overseas to Amsterdam on a cultural dance tour when he was 18 years old.
One of his biggest joys for Aaron was becoming a father. Having a son with his partner meant that he could pass on culture to his own child, which was something important to Aaron. He did so by painting around his toddler, giving him a didgeridoo to practice and painting ochres on his boy’s body to stand alongside him on the dance ground from time to time.
Unfortunately, Aaron's time on Mother Earth was cut short when he suddenly passed on 26th March 2017 at the age of 36. Shortly after his passing came news his partner was carrying their second child, another boy. Sadly, with his absence, Aaron never got to pass on his knowledge fully to his two sons as he wished. Fortunately, though with Aaron’s strong family connections to culture, his wishes are being carried on with his two sons
(pictured above) who are currently learning song and dance.
Aaron’s memory will live on through many stories shared by his family, friends, and local community. To commemorate Aaron and his passion for culture, this exclusive range of special prints of his artworks are available for all to appreciate, commemorate and ensure his many talents live on into the future. Proceeds from the print range will directly go to Aaron’s two sons.