Whadjuk Noongar voices acknowledged and celebrated through art at 140 Perth
• Cbus Property is actively supporting local emerging artists, creating collaborative opportunities and working partnerships to help the public engage with Western Australia First Nations art.
• New Indigenous art has been commissioned to celebrate Whadjuk Noongar voices, which have been made unwelcome and kept hidden in the past, presenting the opportunity to reconnect these voices with the Perth city centre as part of an act of reconciliation.
The launch of two new murals by talented West Australian artists, Kambarni and Marcia McGuire, and commissioned by Cbus Property, will be launched at 140 Perth from 14 July 2022.
An immersive and supportive creative program supporting 140 Perth’s newly created art space MAARAKOOL (translation: with the hands) will feature artist talks and tours, a co-creation mural and printmaking workshops. These sessions will be designed for artists, creatives, young professionals and inner-city workers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
Cbus Property’s Chief Executive Officer, Adrian Pozzo, said the consultation process undertaken had “sparked meaningful conversations and the sharing of stories” with the artists.
“Cbus Property is actively supporting local emerging artists, creating collaborative opportunities and working partnerships to help the public engage with Western Australia First Nations art,” he said.
“We aim to support Indigenous peoples and artists via the installation of these two powerful artworks acknowledging Noongar culture here at 140 Perth.”
The two murals are the first in a series of public artworks to be installed at 140 Perth and are a culmination of in-depth consultation guided by cultural advisors, Barry McGuire and Carol Innes. Barry and Carol provided invaluable knowledge that informed the project and artwork brief, and project stakeholders embraced the opportunity to listen and learn about Country, culture and community – including the traditional significance of this part of Whadjuk Noongar Boodja.
Both artworks speak to the cultural richness of stories, memories and lived experiences of Aboriginal people – both speak of family, connection and love.
Marcia McGuire’s work, located on Globe Lane, features her grandmother May Stack (McGuire), as well as nature-based motifs.
“Art is an emotional journey for me – it’s all about how I feel so I have to be in a certain mindset. To find that knowledge and that history and be connected to my ancestors, I like to incorporate traditional and modern aspects.”
Kambarni’s work, located on Railway Lane, was also inspired by the support and encouragement he received growing up by his grandmother, Sylvia May Thorne née Gillespie. It features traditional objects and creatures.
“It’s all connected – there’s an interconnectedness between our objects, our creatures and our Noongar people here, but also an interconnectedness of time. Having the iconography represented in this way feels like a billboard, an advertisement for our culture and things that we should be celebrating.”
Cbus Property, 140 Perth and CBRE acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners of the land in Australia. We recognise the importance of Indigenous people in the identity of our country, their rich culture and languages, and their continuing connections to Country and community. We pay our respect to Elders, past, present, and emerging, and extend that respect to all Indigenous people of these lands.
COMMENTS ATTRIBUTED TO CULTURAL ADVISORS, BARRY McGUIRE AND CAROL INNES:
“Located at the heart of Perth city on Whadjuk Noongar Boodja, 140 Perth is a space of exchange – of ideas, energy and life. The concept of exchange is deeply rooted within the 140 Perth development. Traditionally, in line with Noongar wisdom, the site is located at a transitional meeting point between male and female Country. It’s a place for all to be.
“It’s an invitation to all those who walk through the precinct to feel the energy emulating from the artworks, an opportunity to learn about our culture and for these narratives to be grounded within this place.”
COMMENTS ATTRIBUTED TO INDIGENOUS ARTIST, KAMBARNI:
“My mural represents remembrance – of both the physical environment and of the pre-colonial customs of trade. The artwork speaks to the dual nature of life – fire and water; the masculine and the feminine; the natural world and the constructed; the past and the future.
“It’s good knowing that there’s a shift and people want to learn about Noongar cultures, which is something we can share. It’s just a reminder of where we stand and that our culture hasn’t been taken away – people can find it if they look in the right spots.”
COMMENTS ATTRIBUTED TO INDIGENOUS ARTIST, MARCIA McGUIRE:
“I want people to understand the importance of our women today and tomorrow – their strength, knowledge and intelligence through my artwork. I hope for a better future for my daughters. There are so many things I want to teach them about what our people went through, what life was like before “the suffering” – how amazing they were and how they lived. People don’t hear that side – they don’t hear about all the love.
“I want our people to feel pride, to continue that education and share that knowledge before it’s too late. We need to acknowledge the past. Although we can’t go back, we can walk forward together – our mob, our family groups and all of those who are non-Indigenous as well – every single person in the community.”
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