St Nicholas Early Education, Ngiyakai Malang – This Way Together
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This artwork shares the story of St Nicholas Early Education Cardiff, acknowledges the Awabakal people as the traditional custodians of the land upon which they stand and celebrates their commitment to working together across community towards reconciliation.
Central to the artwork the large gathering circle depicts the school with the five room names highlights in their related animal footprint at its very centre. At the very top we have Biraban the Eagle Hawk the totem for the Awabakal people. Moving clockwise around the circle, next we have the Waaling - Rainbow Lorikeet, followed by the Yaayiin – the Owl, Miri – the Dingo and lastly Naruta – the Lizard .
The school gathering circle sits upon a pathway that flows across the canvas and depict traditional symbols for people in a U shape. This imagery also highlights the school community, collaboration and students moving through St Nicholas towards the next stage of education. Two red elongated shapes to the top left of the artwork represent Awabakal Elders and this traditional symbolism along with people symbols depict education, as Elders passed down knowledge within Aboriginal communities. Together the gathering circle, Biraban and Elders bring an acknowledgment to the Awabakal people of this country.
Songlines interwoven within the imagery back drop share elements of Awabakal country. Across the bottom of the artwork middens (discarded shell around our local waterways over many years) are engraved into the artwork with a blue ribbon of water on top of this reflective of the East Coast, Lake Macquarie and Coquun – The Hunter River. Orange waving engravings highlight the hills and plains of the Hunter as the Awabakal people are know as the people of the Hills and Plains. Message sticks across the top of the artwork reflect a timeline highlighting past, present and future generations.
Together this artwork applauds sharing knowledge and working together around shared vision ‘This Way Together’, in building a better future for our children.
Medium: Mixed Medium
Size: 800 x 1000
Date: Jan 2020