Meet Jacinta-Rai Ridgeway-Maahs, a talented and creative individual who has many skills from hairdressing to being an internationally recognised contemporary Aboriginal Art. Her mother's influence played a significant role in Jacinta-Rai's journey towards embracing her individuality and exploring different art styles and colours.
Jacinta-Rai was a spirited child who loved to travel and had been overseas 19 times before finishing school. She loved painting frangipanis, which might have been inspired by their frequent trips to Vanuatu. However, it wasn't until about four years ago that she truly started to explore her artistic side. She found that when she was doing hair or painting, she could enter a meditative state where she was fully immersed in the moment, not thinking about anything else.
Jacinta-Rai's upbringing was anchored in strong family values. Every Sunday the family welcome guests for a meal - a family tradition that has been upheld for many many years with Jacinta-rai and her mother shopping for the meal every Sunday after having breakfast together.
Jacinta's Aboriginal father was an oyster farmer, and Jacinta-Rai grew up in a strict but loving household. His marriage to Jacinta-rai's European mother Jodyrenee and being in a mixed relationship was relatively unheard of at the time but their strong family values and deep love for each other has given Jacinta-rai very strong foundations. This, together with her mother's influence and very open nature has allowed Jacinta-Rai to open her eyes to more than traditional art and followed a path to become her own distinct artist.
Jacinta-Rai is a patient and maternal mother who loves working with children. She hopes her relationship with her daughter is as close as hers with her mother. She has learned from her mother the importance of setting boundaries which she intends to implement. Jacinta's mum, Jodyrenee, believes that it takes a village to raise a child and Jacinta is grateful for her mother's guidance in parenting.
Jacinta-Rai has learned a lot from travelling and references places like Vanuatu where happiness is in abundance amongst children from communities with lower incomes and opportunities. These experiences have taught her the importance of family and being grateful for what you have.
Jodyrenee would love to see her daughter balance her many responsibilities, including her three jobs and being a mother to two children. She would like to see her spend more time just painting, which is her happy place. Her strong work ethic, combined with her creative spirit, makes Jacinta-Rai a unique and inspiring individual.
Jacinta-Rai and her mother's relationship is built on mutual respect, listening, and the ability to agree to disagree. She is grateful for her mother's presence in her life and hopes to instil the same values in her own children.