Koikalingba - Ward K2 John Hunter Hospital
This mural is a celebration of pregnancy, birth and family. The artwork commences with the Emu woman, a symbol of fertility and found on the 'Map Site', located west of Newcastle in Yengo National Park. She stands upon Mount Yengo, a highly significant place for Aboriginal people, as the flat top of the mountain in the dreaming is where the creator Biami stepped during creation. The emu women's middle finger points out the shape of the ridge, which leads the way to local traditional birthing caves, just as she points toward K2 in this mural. The hand prints on this piece are symbolic of mothers and babies and their connection to K2.
Close by are eight circles flowing down the right of the mural, eight signifies 'New Beginnings’, while these symbols are representative of women meeting together to share the pregnancy journey. The ridge continues and passes through 5 overlapping circles representing Aboriginal communities across the Hunter.
The Emu woman’s ridge line flows into a central image in the work. Depicting K2 at its centre the innermost meeting symbol is closely bordered by pathways linked to the Hunter communities. This circle opens up and spread out across the artwork moving into the second circle of symbols depicting mother and child. These prints are representative of new babies by illustrating’ tribal totems including: Echidna, Kangaroo, Goanna, Eagle, Dingo, Wombat and the Emu all shown in the work. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are bestowed totems from an early age. These totems can be bird, reptile, animal or fish and is an object or thing in nature that is adopted as a family or clan emblem.
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