Congratulations to Transport for NSW for the official launch on 14 October 2019 of the stunning mural at Burnt Bridge Creek in North Balgowlah.
Commissioned by Balarinji, the 130 metre-long mural is a fantastic example of community collaboration and a celebration of local Balgowlah Aboriginal culture.
The artwork developed with Yaegl artist, Jessica Birk, is called 'Shorelines and Storylines'. It acknowledges local Aboriginal culture and celebrates the connection between land and water within the Balgowlah area, which is documented in local rock engravings and contemporary stories.
The design of the artwork focuses on this connection to place. It is a contemporary visual narrative created in a repeat design which uses colour, symbols, linear designs and pattern to conceptually represent connections between people, place, land and water.
Rock wallaby - Seen in local rock engravings, wallabies were an important food source that would be eaten and their fur and tendons used for tools and clothes.
Sandstone - Warm tones of yellow and green are segmented and layered to reference the area's sandstone foundations.
Seeds - The repeating pattern of small oval shapes represent the seeds of native grasses and wattle which were used for food and medicine.
Gum lead and banksia - Several muted greens represent and celebrate the Australian bush and its resilience in drought and after fire.
Hibiscus and wattle flowers - Yellow represents the native hibiscus and wattle flowers which bare yellow flowers. Both plants were culturally important. The hibiscus flower could be eaten and the wood and bark from both trees was used for tools and weapons around the coastal region.
Fresh and salt waterways - Muted blues represent bodies of fresh and salt water and their shorelines. Blues are used to visually weave the golden green landscape together, referencing the connection between land and water.
Stingrays - Seen in local rock engravings and represented in stories.
Lomandra grass seed - Yellow also references the Lomandra grass seed, a native grass in the area.