Wyndham Cultural Centre,
Synnot Street, Werribee
Kirrip Wurrung Biik (Friend, Mouth, Country)

Acquired by: Mayoral Commission in partnership with the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Program

Materials: Black Limestone

About the Artwork:

The artwork brings recognition to Victorian rich, strong and proud Indigenous culture. It assists in the appreciation of some of the complexities of Indigenous Nations life including traditional trade routes, ceremonies, cultural heritage, languages and 'country'.  This artwork is an acknowledgement of the Kulin Nation which consists of five separate clans of South Central Victoria, Watha wurrung, Dja Dja wurrung, Boon wurrung, Woi wurrung and Taung wurrung. Wurrung (mouth) is found in their names indicating this similarity in spoken word and dialect.

To fulfil traditional protocol, permission was sought through representatives of each clan before the artwork was created and each clan were invited to contribute to the design for their specific image.  These clans are represented by large gum leaves. Gum leaves are commonly used in welcoming ceremonies, where visitors are accepted onto ‘country’. Symbols within this gum leaves represent tools, weapons, cloaks and food items exchanged along the trade routes; Scar Trees where canoes or shields have been craved; rain and the birthplace of Rivers from the Great Dividing Range; and the ocean, all items found within the boundaries of each of the individual clans.

Within the artwork, leaves have been placed in a circular pattern to depict the motion of the generations passing through and the continuation of culture.

  • Taung wurrung – Mountain Grey Gum (rain)
  • Dja Dja wurrung – Scent Bark Gum (trade routes)
  • Boon wurrung – Messmate (water)
  • Watha wurrung – Yellow Gum (cultural heritage)
  • Woi Wurrung – Manna Gum (campfire)
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