This public art project involved:
Facilitating local Bundjalung cultural storytelling.
Engaging local Aboriginal community members, including elders, cultural leaders and community groups to lead the development of the artwork.
Commissioning a community-endorsed local artist to develop the artwork.
Sourcing, managing and quality-controlling the fabrication of the installation.
The commissioned Bundjalung artist is Marcus Ferguson, who has extensive cultural knowledge of Aboriginal people in the Ballina area and connects much of his work to significant cultural places, landscapes, sites and stories.
The artwork Marcus created tells the story of how language was communicated to the water birds of the Ballina area.
Babarra, the creator spirit, instructed Jungar (Pelican) to gather all the birds and to meet at a sacred place. Jungar did as he was instructed, gathering all the birds including Swan, Brolga, Duck, Stalk and many other little birds. Babarra gave sound to the Bundjalung language, passing onto the birds to carry over and through to the people of the area. All waterbirds have a special meaning for the Bundjalung language as they are the carriers of the spirit message.
To create the public art installation Balarinji interpreted Marcus’ artwork, working closely with him to ensure the layout and colour were consistent with the original artwork’s intent.
Balarinji also managed the fabrication of the installation. To meet the brief and display the artwork with maximum impact, Balarinji’s design team chose to print the artwork on Flexface, supported by a lightbox frame for night lighting.