The 2022 Merlin Darwin Triple Crown will feature a grid of incredible artwork by First Nations artists. Here are the details from some of the teams who have already unveiled their liveries and explained the storytelling behind their unique designs.
Blanchard Racing Team
At the heart of Darwin artist Melissa Tipo/Yaram’s striking design for the Blanchard Racing Team’s (BRT) livery is the saltwater crocodile.
Representing strength, power and masculinity, the crocodile is balanced out by water lilies which represent fertility. The blue signifies water and dots symbolise generations that have come before us.
For the bonnet of the Ford Mustang, Melissa represented the Larrakia Country (Darwin area) with flowing water surrounding the community, known as “Saltwater” people.
Brad Jones Racing
The stunning livery design for driver Jack Smith’s Commodore is by Gomeroi/Kamilaroi woman Elenore Binge.
Inspired by Australia’s rail history and reconciliation, Elenore gave Brad Jones Racing (BJR) permission to use her Younger artwork.
Elenore said her work depicts Mother Earth, the land we call Australia, with the blue lines as her veins, representing rivers and waterways.
Railway tracks are shown throughout, and black and white hands symbolise the ongoing journey of reconciliation and engagement with the traditional owners.
Stories of native bees and freshwater mermaids are behind the extraordinary livery design for Penrite Racing and Penrite Honda Racing.
Based on two artworks by Darwin-born artist Lorraine Kabbindi White, the livery colours represent three types of native bees – Kubbulak, Kardderre and Nabiwu. The significance of freshwater mermaids is also captured.
Kabbindi is the Boarding House Manager of Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS) students who helped deliver the Penrite-backed Supercars and Superbikes livery.
Brad Jones Racing
Fire circles have lit the way for Cairns-based emerging artist Jedess Hudson to bring the brightly coloured livery on driver Macauley Jones’ Commodore to life.
Drawing inspiration from how Aboriginal people used fire as a tool for managing country for countless generations, Jedess worked in collaboration with Brad Jones Racing (BJR) to create the artwork, Biri (Fire) Circles.
“Fire is an integral part of life. It allows the land to regenerate, germinate seeds and clears the undergrowth of the land,” said Jedess, a descendant of the Ewamian and Western Yalanji people. “This makes way for new ground to grow and ensures wildlife have fresh food to feast on.”
Matt Stone Racing
The story of the Kapok tree was the inspiration behind the Indigenous livery for Matt Stone Racing (MSR) by Larrakia artist Trent Lee.
Trent considered how the Kapok tree is in flower now, and just as they represent a change in season, the Supercars Championship in Darwin also represents a pivotal part of its motorsports season.
“I used to go to the V8 Supercars when they first came to Darwin so to see my artwork going around the track this weekend will be another very proud moment,” said Trent.
Brad Jones Racing
Supercars fans will be in for some ancient volcanic energy when they spot driver Andre Heimgartner’s #8 car at Hidden Valley.
In collaboration with Brad Jones Racing (BJR), Cairns-based Indigenous artist Jedess Hudson created a special artwork, Lava Lines, for the livery design.
She drew inspiration from the Undara Lava Tubes, which contain the remains of the Earth’s longest flow of lava originating from a single volcano over 190,000 years ago. Red and orange represent the journey lines of the lava flow, and the dots embody the lava imprint within the tubes.
Driver Chris Pither will sport an eye-catching new look with a high-impact livery design for PremiAir Racing by Indigenous artist Kiewa Tya Austin-Rioli.
The 21-year-old Gunditjmara and Tiwi Islander woman completely reimagined the iconic logo of sponsor Coca-Cola while honouring her connection to Country.
“I wanted to represent the unity of our people, so the artwork shows the connections and the strength of those connections that Aboriginal people have with each other all over Australia,” she said.
V8 Supercar royalty Mark Winterbottom’s car will be adorned with a rainbow serpent in honour of Indigenous culture in Darwin this weekend.
The livery for Winterbottom and his Irwin Racing team was designed by Kalkadoon artist Chern’ee Sutton and features a rainbow serpent representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
Other symbolism thread throughout the design includes nods to spectators, drivers and a large community symbol in the shape of a wheel in the centre.
Brad Jones Racing
Hometown hero Bryce Fullwood’s #14 car is set to be a show stopper at the Hidden Valley racetrack with an electrifying pink livery.
Designed by Queensland-based Indigenous artist Jedess Hudson, she was inspired by the various weather patterns that signal the changing of seasons for her artwork, Light the Way.
“Bryce was born and raised in Darwin which is known for its distinct wet and dry seasons and various types of lightning that can occur,” said Jess, who worked in collaboration with Brad Jones Racing (BJR).