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Project Update: Nungalinya College

Aboriginal Artist and Nungalinya College Christian Ministry and Theology student, Troy Mardigan, holds his powerful artwork, Creation Story.
Aboriginal Artist and Nungalinya College Christian Ministry and
Theology student, Troy Mardigan, holds his powerful artwork,
Creation Story. © Nungalinya College.

August 2019

Art as a powerful expression of faith *

Troy Mardigan comes from Nauiyu Community at Daly River. He has been studying at Nungalinya College since 2015, and is currently undertaking his Certificate III in Christian Ministry and Theology.

As well as being a student of theology, Troy is an artist. Some of you may be familiar with his work from his contributions to the book, Our Mob, God’s Story, published by the Bible Society in 2017 which takes the reader on a journey through the Christian story told in the art works of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christians from around Australia.

Troy learned to paint as a child, by watching his aunty, Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr, paint.

Here is what Troy says about his painting, Creation Story, which he painted as a deep reflection on his recent study of God’s Story:

Let me tell you about this painting.

The circle at the top of the painting is God the Father. The lines going right and left, and also down the middle, are the power of God in heaven and on earth.

To me the brolga represents the Holy Spirit. The brolga comes from a Dreamtime story about love. The brolga was a young girl who was promised to an old man but fell in love with another person. This brolga represents a love story. It is the Holy Spirit. The circles in its wings represent the waterways and billabongs where the brolga jumps and dances.

The figure on the left is the figure of Jesus as he was creating the world through the power of God and the Holy Spirit. This power of God flows down through Jesus’ hands as the creation is being formed. This is the Trinity.

Creation Story by Troy Mardigan
Troy’s Creation Story

The feather on Jesus’ head shows him as the Ceremonial man, the Son of God who has the complete authority. As he was creating he knew the future – that he would die for us. I have shown this by the cross on his face. On his body, we see the heart of Jesus Christ and the blood flowing down to cover us.

We are the dots on his body. On his left shoulder, we see his journey towards us with the dots and triangles. The net flowing down from his head to the left side is a fish net. It represents how Jesus met with Peter and said, “I will make you fishers of men if you follow me.”

I am thankful to God for this gift he has given me, and I want to continue to use it to share the good news of the gospel.

Thanks to all ABM’s supporters who donate to Nungalinya College and enable Aboriginal students like Troy to deepen their discipleship of Christ, and to minister to others in Christ’s name. Please continue to give generously to this project. 

Donate Now to Nungalinya College

*This story is taken from a recent fundraising newsletter written by Nungalinya’s new principal, Ben van Gelderen, and is used here with his permission. Works of Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr also appear in the book, Our Mob, God’s Story.


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