In 2010 we were involved in an exciting collaboration between the Briagolong School of Fine Art, Briagolong Art Gallery and East Gippsland Aboriginal Art Corporation. We worked with local artist Pat Waters and a number of other community members, to design and install a public sculpture at the entrypoint to the small town of Briagolong in Gippsland. Pat was the lead artist, Colin fabricated the metal and wood elements, while Deborah assisted with design and project management. The wood burnings were commissioned from indigenous artists: Michael Mullett and the late Uncle Albert Mullett, Manfred Ratzmann, and the late Raymond Rogers.
This project grew from a strong desire amongst community members to recognise and celebrate local indigenous culture. We consulted with Ramahyuck Aboriginal Corporation from the outset, gaining strong support for the idea, as well as permission to depict Tuk the Musk Duck and Boorun the Pelican – the mother and father of the Gunaikurnai people.
This sculpture is a celebration of a vibrant local arts community and demonstrates public recognition of the original custodians of the land. It stands as a welcome for all who enter the small town of Briagolong in Gippsland.
The project was made possible with a grant from Kilmany Family Care and supported by Wellington Shire Council, Ramahyuck Aboriginal Corporation, East Gippsland Aboriginal Arts Corporation, Regional Arts Victoria and the Briagolong community.