PUBLIC ART INSTALLATIONS
Balarinji was engaged by Frasers Property Australia to design public art installations for Burwood Brickworks in Victoria, the world’s most sustainable shopping centre. Balarinji worked with local Wurundjeri, Dja Dja wurrung and Ngurai illum wurrung artist, Mandy Nicholson who developed an artwork concept that was deeply embedded to Place and reflected Wurundjeri culture.
The initial brief was an artwork installation for the outer facade, however, midway through the project it was extended to also feature on the ceiling throughout the property. Mandy’s artwork is now one of the most commented-on visual aspects of the centre.
The artwork installations are deeply connected to place and Wurundjeri culture. They showcase the six fundamental elements to Wurundjeri Country, on which Burwood Brickworks is located:
Tharangalk Biik - Forest Country above the clouds where Bunjil (creator) lives;
Wurru Wurru Biik - Sky Country;
Murnmut Biik - Wind Country;
Baanj Biik - Water Country;
Biik-Dui - On Country where we walk, dance and conduct ceremony; and
Biik-Ut - Below Country where all life began.
The installations also reference many local landmarks, including Mount Dandenong, the Great Dividing Range, Yarra Valley flatlands and Port Phillip Bay.
The Burwood Brickworks project is a stunning example of how Aboriginal culture can exist in an urban context and is dynamic and alive.
Balarinji was Frasers Property Australia’s partner in relation to the development of the major art installations for our Burwood Brickworks Living Building Challenge Project. Balarinji translated our project’s strategic objectives into physical interventions of public art, embedding Aboriginal heritage within the Burwood Brickworks, helping to illuminate the local Aboriginal narrative.
Specifically, Balarinji sourced suitable local artists for us to work with, engaged, and worked with our selected artist, [Mandy Nicholson] to develop her work and create a suitable solution for both a glazing façade and our feature ceiling. In the process, Balarinji liaised with a fabricator and helped to build capacity in the Aboriginal creative community, fostering local art practices.
Stephen Choi, Living Building Challenge Manager, Frasers Property Group, 2019