International artist Daren Dunn, who has a long running association with the Newcastle Knights and other NRL Clubs, is renowned for creating stunning Aboriginal artworks on players’ football boots and headgear.
This Sunday, Newcastle Knight Jaelen Feeney will proudly wear Dunn’s specially painted boots in the NSW Cup Knights’ match against the Illawarra Cutters in a triple-header match at Hunter Stadium.
Dunn was in Newcastle as a part of the Deadly Skills Workshop, a collaborative project between the Newcastle Knights, Hunter TAFE where he spoke to Knights TV about the meaning behind the artwork on Feeney’s boots.
“This one is about what the Indigenous Round means to me,” Dunn says about the intricately dot painted design.
“The design is about a welcome dance.
“It’s about our fans and Aboriginal people coming together as one.
“Jaelen is an up-and-coming first grader, I’ve been supporting him for over three years now.
“When Jaelen wears those boots, he knows what it’s about, to play his role as a leader in his field, but to also educate the people that are watching.
“For this kid wearing his culture on that day, it means a lot to both me and him.
“It’s so important because we are embracing it."
Not only will Indigenous players don the eye-catching designs on Sunday, a number of non-Indigenous players were eager to have Dunn paint their boots in a sign of support for their Indigenous teammates and communities.
“To see out of the seven people who are wearing the boots, three of them are non-Aboriginal, that means more to me than to see Aboriginal players run out," Dunn added.
“That’s what means the most to me.”