North Stradbroke Island artist Delvene Cockatoo-Collins makes her mark on the world stage

NORTH Stradbroke Island artist Delvene Cockatoo-Collins has stolen a little bit of the limelight from sports stars, with her remarkable work on Migaloo the white whale a feature of the Commonwealth Games spectacular opening ceremony.

BEAUTIFUL SIGHT: Migaloo ghosts out over performers at the end of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

BEAUTIFUL SIGHT: Migaloo ghosts out over performers at the end of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

Apart from Migaloo – the whale floating majestically across the arena before a world audience – the modest Ms Cockatoo-Collins also did art work for costumes worn by people presenting medals.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “It started out with the costumes, then the medals, then the commemorative medal (which goes to all competitors and officials), then the whale and other elements.

“I’m really enjoying this moment. It’s the absolute height of my career. It’s pretty special.”

The cape worn by Singer Christine Anu also featured Cocatoo-Collins work.

As well, her son Preston, danced with the much lauded Bangarra dancers during the ceremony and other family members were in opening scenes.

She said a tough part was not being able to tell anyone about her projects for the past three years.

Ms Cockatoo-Collins said the Games was the most prominent work she had undertaken.

Her inspiration for the design on Migaloo was aimed at capturing the joy she had experienced waiting to see the whale pass Point Lookout on its annual migration in 2014.

“I wanted to try and capture some of the magic I experienced in 2014,” she said. “I wanted to share with the athletes a special and joyful moment.”

SHINING STAR: Delvene Cockatoo-Collins with the medals she designed for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

SHINING STAR: Delvene Cockatoo-Collins with the medals she designed for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Ms Cockatoo-Collins said the lengthy projects were a good lesson for young people about honouring contracts, meeting deadlines and working in a collaborative way.

Ms Cockatoo-Collins is a Nunukul, Ngugi and Goenpul woman whose art includes textiles and ceramics. Her art explores stories of her family’s experiences on Straddie, also known as Minjerribah.

Games chairman Peter Beattie said the striking medals were symbolic of the Games.

Redlands artist Maryann Talia Pau’s One Million Stars to End Violence is also on show at Brisbane’s King George Square until April 15 as part of Games events.

Ms Cockatoo-Collins work also is currently on show at the Redland Art Gallery.