Meet the Maker: Krystal Hurst
Krystal Hurst is a Worimi Artist and owner/manager of Gillawarra Arts, a business using traditional techniques and artefacts such as pippies, quandongs, echidna quills, glass beads and natural fibres to create stunning necklaces, earrings and bracelets.
Originating from Taree on NSW’s mid north coast. Krystal now lives and works on Ngunnawal Country in Canberra as a jewellery designer, painter, printmaker and workshop facilitator.
‘Art is my passion,’ Krystal says. ‘It is an extension of who I am, where I come from and who I belong to. Since I was a wonai (child) I have been surrounded by art and culture. Creating gives me a sense of freedom and connection to our culture and ancestors. With each piece I create, a piece of me lives.’
Krystal sources her inspiration from freshwater and sea Country, her culture and heritage, as well as how she senses and feels the world. ‘It’s a practice that is very relaxing and healing,’ Krystal said.
She hopes to make a lasting impact to keep indigenous stories, language and culture alive by empowering women and men to feel proud when wearing a pair of statement earrings or with a colourful print on their wall.
Krystal has been featured in Craft ACT’s ‘Emerging Contemporaries’ exhibition and the Aboriginal Bush Traders ‘Bush Bling’ exhibition held in Darwin, and has also been involved in the Indigenous Jewellery Project. She was awarded ACT NAIDOC Artist of the Year in 2017 and was one of 68 artists across Australia to be named a finalist in the prestigious Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA) in 2019 and 2020, Australia's most illustrious and long-standing Indigenous art awards.