A LONG ROAD TO THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES MEDALS’ DESIGN
What an artist; what a lady; what a name!
Delvene Cockatoo-Collins has catapulted into the Australian psyche as the most interesting and talented designer of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games medals.
Her designs will create and bring back memories for a host of athletes competing at the Games, starting on April 4 when over 6600 athletes and team officials from 70 nations and territories will converge on the Gold Coast for an 11 day sporting and cultural event.
All athletes in all sports competing at the Games will be striving for a medal to hang around their necks boasting the unique designs that are purely Delvene Cockatoo-Collins and her home, North Stradbroke Island.
The breathtaking designs are a compliment, too, to her home of North Stradbroke Island.
The sandy tidal beaches and waters of this heavenly island were the inspiration for her unique concept for the medal design.
And like all things that are of a brilliant creation, Delvene’s design was a one-off effort.
No pre-designs and concepts. One design and one design only!
Mozart was known for never writing an unwanted note, and Paul McCartney dreaming of and coming up with Yesterday as if it was pre-designed.
And so it was for Delvene Cockatoo-Collins and her much applauded medal designs.
The very modest Delvene is married to Che Cockatoo-Collins, a former leading Australian Rules footballer with Essendon and Port Adelaide in the AFL. The "Cockatoo" part of his surname derives from his maternal great-great grandfather in Cape York
being known as "Old Man Cockatoo”.
Delvene’s road to designing the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games medals has been an interesting one.
She spent her first years growing up on Straddie, attended boarding school at Fairholme College, Toowoomba, attended Griffith University where she majored in Tourism and obtained an Arts Degree.
She has worked with and for a number of leading organisations including the Dreamtime Cultural Centre, the Gavala Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Queensland Aboriginal Creations
“It was at Queensland Aboriginal Creations in Brisbane where I was to discover the link between art and the market place,” she told The Friendly Bay Islander.
“Getting art ready for a market is quite different to the artistic directions for some.”
Delvene hopes she is achieving what is required to want people to not only enjoy her work, but to purchase it as well.
“I am still learning about social media and its influences.”
She has established a popular outlet at Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island: ‘Made on Minjerribah’.
Delvene has exhibited in several mediums at a number of Aboriginal art exhibitions including Redlands Art Gallery and Gold Coast Art Centre.
She believes it is from being observed in these areas the invitation to design the medals for the Commonwealth Games was extended.
“When I was asked to come up with the design, I thought of South East Queensland’s connection, particularly with the water and the beach.
“I came up with a concept of what is revealed between high and low tides.
“It is what gets left behind that we found so interesting playing on the beaches on Straddie when I was a child.
“I then related that to not just the shifting sands, but also the shifting tides and directions in athletic careers.”
Delvene believes that somewhere along the line she was ‘meant to do this’.
“You dream of opportunities like this. When something like this goes right; it means it was meant to happen,” she added.
The designs on the medals are seemingly shells and small rocks on a foreshore surrounding the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 emblem.
When seen in Gold, Silver and Bronze, the changes and inferences are stunning.
When Delvene first saw the designs she observed:”They were a lot better than I imagined.” Modest indeed.
Since the announcement and the medal design has gone public, Delvene has been ‘stunned’ at the reaction.
“I have been surprised at how many people have wanted to meet and talk with me.
“It has taken me by surprise and I am so appreciative of all the wonderful and kind comments that have come my way,” she concluded.
The medal designs and her artwork relate to her family life experiences.
So where to from here?
Well, Delvene Cockatoo-Collins has a very exciting exhibition starting just after the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games start from April 6 at the Redland Art Gallery. It involves various mediums and is sure to be popular.
Don’t be surprised if her medal designs lead to some major new directions for a rising modest and talented island artist.
• Delvene’s medal designs