Carmen Glynn-Braun and Dennis Golding, two talented Indigenous artists, have collaborated to create a captivating artwork displayed on the exterior walls of the South Sydney Rabbitohs' newly established home ground in Sydney's eastern suburbs. This artistic masterpiece represents a rich tapestry of storytelling and local traditions, specifically focusing on the Gweagal people, a clan group belonging to the Dharawal nation, who call Kamay their ancestral home.
Dubbed "Shimmer," the design is a vibrant celebration of the abundant marine life that has sustained the Gweagal people of Kamay Botany Bay for countless generations. The artwork pays homage to native sea creatures such as stingrays, barrow hawks, and winter mullet. Carmen Glynn-Braun explains the significance behind the title, stating, "We titled all the works Shimmer because they're all interconnected in how they reflect light, like the sun off the water. It's not just about reflection in a literal sense, but also about reflection of the past and listening, and especially listening to elders."
The strategic placement of these stunning golden artworks on the exterior of the community center building was deliberate. Twice a day, the sun interacts with the artwork, mimicking the play of sunlight on the water's surface as mullet swim beneath. Carmen Glynn-Braun elaborates, "The sun interacts with it twice a day, as it would on top of the water with the mullet flowing through the water below."
As First Nations artists, Carmen Glynn-Braun and Dennis Golding recognize the importance of consulting with local elders during the creative process. In accordance with their artistic practice, they engaged in a thorough community consultation for this project, collaborating closely with Uncle Steve Russell, a respected knowledge holder within the community. Their consultations with Uncle Steve Russell involved examining local Aboriginal iconography, conducting extensive research, and visiting local museums to ensure the artwork accurately reflects the cultural heritage and profound connection Indigenous people have with the land.
Dennis Golding shares his perspective on the artwork, stating, "We wanted to show how Aboriginal people know their country and have this cultural knowledge and a connection to this landscape. We were able to tell those stories through these objects, and illustrating them, like we're looking at country from a top view, creates this flow."
The highly anticipated opening of the Heffron Centre is scheduled for Saturday, July 1, where visitors will have the opportunity to admire and appreciate the mesmerizing artwork crafted by Carmen Glynn-Braun and Dennis Golding, a testament to their artistic prowess and deep cultural understanding.
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Photo Courtesy National Indigenous Times
Courtesy National Indigenous Times