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Creating the Indigenous Round Jersey

When the seven South Sydney Rabbitohs Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders players chose the final design of the 2018 Indigenous Jersey, it was artist Dennis Golding's work that stood out most.

Going into a room not knowing who made which design, Rabbitohs players Greg Inglis, Dane Gagai, Alex Johnston, Cody Walker, Kyle Turner and Braidon Burns, were unanimous in their decision in picking Dennis' work.

Incorporating the player's individual totems and donning a Rabbitohs flair, with a red and green influence, Dennis' design ticked all the right boxes.

"When I first had a chat with Souths, the players had an idea of what they wanted to be incorporated into the design," said Dennis.

"Of course, they wanted to have their totems as a way of representing their identity, their culture and their community."

For Dennis, the creation process took up to month, with many days spent researching the player's background and history to allow him to apply the right cultural imagery.

"Most of the time during the creation of the jersey I was doing research," Dennis explained.

"I wanted to research into the local lands and where each of the players is from.

"When it came to creating a concept that incorporated all of the totems into a design I also wanted to add some other cultural imagery.

"The circular imagery you see in the artwork is a traditional symbol that is being referenced as a meeting place or a camping ground."

With the right elements integrated into the design, Dennis then went about working on the striking feature of the Jersey, the player's totems and the South Sydney colours.

"Once I knew where I wanted to go with the design I needed to think about how to position the animals and how to bring the best out of them on the black background.

"So, I used this kind of charcoal texture that sits onto the black background of the jersey,

"I think that texture is really quite unique in how that it talks about how the background of this history is kind of grounded.

"Also, what you will see is the red and green strips, which was something I really wanted to have incorporated into the jersey because it is important to have the Rabbitohs identity depicted in the design."

To have his work selected by the players was an incredible achievement for Dennis, who had created the design for the Wests Tigers Indigenous Jersey last season. However, to have his artwork chosen by the mighty Cardinal and Myrtle was just a little bit more special for the artist.

"I was quite excited, before I had designed indigenous jerseys for the Wests Tigers and the Wallabies," Dennis said.

"It's quite special this year because it's more local to me. I spent most of my childhood growing up in Redfern so South Sydney has always been quite present in my life.

"It was very special for me that the jersey was chosen and something I'm quite proud of."

The 2018 Indigenous Round Jersey is available now.


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