The fabrication of the bronze sculptures selected by the Kamay 2020 Project Board are now underway.
Artists Julie Squires and Theresa Ardler with ThinkOTS are working on two sculptures – ‘The Whales’ and the ‘Canoes’ which are being fabricated by specialists in Victoria. A locally made canoe was cast in bronze and ‘The Whales’ were sculptured from foam by hand with carved details on the surface. Casting in bronze will follow before both elements are transported to Kurnell for installation.
On ‘The Whales’, Theresa Ardler describes, ‘The whale is the dreaming figure for the Dharawal speaking people and an integral part of our community and beliefs. My Gweagal Clan looked out for whales from the Kurnell Peninsula. My Elders and my people still do this today, as it brings a strong sense of a spiritual connection on country, remembering we were once a part of the ocean, but now are land people, although still spiritually connected to both natural elements.’
Artist Alison Page and Nik Lachacjzak with UAP Australia are working on the ‘Eyes of the Land and the Sea'. Each ‘rib’ will have a different surface treatment including text and carvings to represent the different layers of history and culture of Kamay.
Alison Page explained this sculpture, ‘brings together different perspectives on our shared history - the bones of a whale and the ribs of a ship - and sits in the tidal zone between the ship and the shore where the identity of modern Australia lies. The first encounter between James Cook and the First Australians was a meeting of two very different knowledge systems, beliefs and cultures. The abstraction of the ribs of the HMB Endeavour and the bones of the Gweagal totem the whale, speaks to the different perspectives of those first encounters, providing a conjoined narrative of two very different world-views.’