‘I grew up in Papua New Guinea, and this was a piece that my family collected in their travels. I think its beautiful, in its simplicity, but its also intricate as well. So I always proudly hang that somewhere in any house that I am living in. A little Picasso print I found in a shop, years ago. I have always been attracted to vibrant colours, and the complexity, yet the simplicity, and I always look at that and consider, women, the diversity, the complexity and yet the simplicity, I find quite captivating as well. Some boxes have been given to me, some boxes I have acquired, have got very special meaning to me. It is a reflection of my personality I have now figured out. A defensive mechanism, clearly a protection mechanism, I am very good at compartmentalising and putting things away. Experiencing, then boxing away. This was given to me when I was 18 , a simple red cedar box and these two intricate boxes were a part of my grandmothers estate which is all I have of her now. Lots of them have little mementoes of my life. My ten years service with the Aboriginal Legal Service, earrings my mother used to wear, and old pear of glasses, I believe were my grand-mothers or my great-mothers. A cigarette lighter of my mothers that I found when I was quite young, just little trinkets and mementos that you find as little treasures. But really it’s the boxes themselves for me which I collect and display. I think it’s a true reflection of the person I am and the coping mechanism that I tend to bring to my life.’

Nadine Miles
Chief Legal Officer
Aboriginal Legal Service(NSW/ACT)Ltd