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Artist of the Week: YONDEE (Shane Hansen)

Posted by Jilan Shah on
Yondee ( Shane Hanseen) Holding Art

Yondee Shane Hansen is a Noongar man from the South-West of Western Australia, based in Perth. He was born in 1964 in Dumbleyung, 270 km south of Perth. The name Dumbleyung is derived from the Aboriginal word 'Dambeling' meaning large lake and refers to the lake nearby which is the largest in south-west WA. Yondee remembers this lake as a child and being told stories of the Wagal (rainbow snake) by his family. 

Yondee's main motif is the iconic Swan River, often depicted flowing in the center of his artworks with a myriad of dazzling abstract lines and patterns making up the rest of the work. The importance of the elements (fire and water) and their influence on the land has become one of Yondee's more preferred Dreaming's to share through his paintings, showcasing his strong connection to country and ties to his family's way of living out bush. This can be seen in his pieces "Two Brothers Dreaming"  and "Swan River (During 6 Noongar Seasons)". 


Asking him more about this, Yondee talks about the traditional burning of the grasses along the river as a sacred way of appreciating the land, as the fires make way for new growth; fresh grasses, flowers, and bush foods for the Noongar people and nearby wildlife. This generally happened during the dry season, in preparation for the "big rains" that the wet season would bring. 

A multi-talented and proud Noongar man, Yondee has branched out from his traditional sand-paintings to now create striking acrylic paintings, using bright, bold colours to represent the changing colours of the landscape and shift in Indigenous art. He has also taken the leap into the fashion industry, printing his famous "Emu Feathers" designs onto kimonos, dresses, scarves, men's ties and t-shirts. 

Taking about his artistic vision, he says he wishes to continue the stories of his grandfather and to make his Dreaming accessible to the modern-day viewer through the use of colour and pattern. One of his paintings, "Song Lines", demonstrates this connection and desire to promote his ancestral history. Songlines are one of the many aspects of Aboriginal culture that artists draw on for inspiration. They are the long Creation storylines that cross the country and put all geographical and sacred sites into place in Aboriginal culture. For Yondee, they are both inspiration and important cultural knowledge. He paints the songlines with the hope of handing down the knowledge and lore of his past generations and ancestors. 

Extremely prolific and always on the look-out for new opportunities to expand his resume, Yondee has several corporate gigs lined up, creating large-scale murals and works exhibiting his Dreaming for the people of Perth. His works feature in the homes and offices of people all over Australia, as well as internationally, including Europe, USA and Asia. Working with Yondee for over two decades, Creative Native are very proud of how far he has come both personally and professionally, and are so excited to watch the rest of his career unfold. 

To view and purchase Yondee's work, visit our link here:

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