“STRONGER as one” is the powerful theme of the Gold Coast Titans’ 2019 Indigenous jersey.
The emotive and thoughtful design, based on artwork titled “Korowa tarig” by rising Newcastle artist Tyler Smith, was chosen as the winner of the Gold Coast Titans Indigenous jersey design competition.
Smith’s design beat a hot field for the honour of being turned into the Titans’ 2019 Indigenous jersey, to be worn in the Round 19 clash against the Broncos at Cbus Super Stadium on 27 July. Purchase the 2019 Gold Coast Titans Indigenous jersey and polo now
Competing artists were told their designs must reflect the Titans club, and the values of passion, resilience and community. Smith’s design more than delivered on the brief.
“Korowa tarig means ‘the sea coast’ in the traditional language of the Awabakal people,” Smith explains.
“The beauty of the Gold Coast is recognised around the world. My artwork represents its unique beaches and ocean life, which attract so many people every year and is something the locals should have much pride in.
“The illustration shows a school of fish swimming together as they are stronger as one. This also represents the essential teamwork needed to be a successful football team and organization.”
Smith, 26, said inspiration was not hard to find when he decided to have a go at designing the Titans’ Indigenous jersey.
“The new Titans home strip this year is the dark blue, so that gave me a place to start,” he said.
“My father does Aboriginal art, and he taught me that art usually starts with the local area, the local animals, the landscape and the geography of the area. That is where I got my style from.
“I take the place and the land, the animals that are from there, and that is where my inspiration comes from.
“It is not hard with the Gold Coast I guess, because it is such a beautiful place, and everyone that goes there is drawn to the sea. So it was not hard to come up with inspiration working off that deep blue jersey that fit in with the area.
“I thought the fish represented the area well, especially the team – not just the players, but the organization and the fans as well. They all work together to be stronger as one.”
Smith is delighted to be following in the footsteps of one of his idols, former Titans star Preston Campbell, as a designer of the Gold Coast’s Indigenous jersey.
“I am not a Titans fan – I am actually a Sharks fan, but I come from Newcastle. I was born into that.
“But I have been to a few Titans games up on the Gold Coast when I have been up there visiting my best mate and my cousin who live up there, and it has always been a good experience.
“I love watching the team, and I am excited about watching them this year – especially with the players they have got.
“But I am obviously a big fan of Preston Campbell. I have followed him through his career. I remember him playing for the Sharks when I was a kid, and then at the Titans as well.
“But I was inspired by him especially with the work that he did with the Indigenous All Stars, and I follow him and the work his Foundation does on Facebook.
“It is a great honour to follow in his footsteps. He is one of the best.”
As the winner of the Indigenous jersey design competition, Smith receives $2000 from the Titans, a signed and framed version of the jersey he designed, a photo with Titans coach Garth Brennan and the club’s Indigenous players wearing the jersey and four tickets to the game against the Broncos when the jersey will be worn.
Smith admits it will be “surreal” seeing his artwork being in the middle of the NRL local derby.
“It is going to be awesome to see it. It hasn’t really hit me yet that they team will be wearing a jersey that I designed,” he said. “I think it probably won’t hit me until after the game, but I reckon it will be a bit surreal.
“I will be taking my dad to the game. I have been painting and drawing with him since I was a little kid, and it was great having that sort of inspiration so close to home. It will be a good moment to share with him.
“I can’t thank the club enough for the opportunity to be a part of this. It is very special.”