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.
Good Design Award Winner
In 2020, these artwork installations won the coveted Architectural Design Urban Design and Public Spaces category in the Good Design Awards.
The Good Design Awards Jury praised the Burwood Brickworks artwork installations, commenting: “Experienced by many people every day, the Aboriginal artwork in Burwood Brickworks is well integrated into the architectural experience of the place, and will inform, educate and interest the general public about local Aboriginal culture, stories and art.”
Ros Moriarty, Managing Director of Balarinji said: "We are absolutely honoured that our design work with outstanding Wurundjeri-willam artist Mandy Nicholson for Burwood Brickworks mural has received a Good Design Award. Our client, Frasers Property, was on board from the outset to bring bold visibility to Mandy’s art and Wurundjeri culture."
"Australia needs innovative opportunities like Burwood Brickworks mural to make local Aboriginal narratives visible in our public places. We’re thrilled thousands of people will experience the installation every day, and that the project’s social value and design merit have been recognised with this prestigious award."
Read the Good Design Award submission here
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