Warami welcome mural at Berala
Recently our ‘Warami Wellamabami’ mural was launched at Berala, with lead Artist Geoff Sellman commissioned by Cumberland Council Sydney for Berala Community Centre.
The digital print mural was developed from several community participation workshops during NAIDOC Week (July 2018), exploring the theme ‘Because of Her, We Can’ and aspects of the traditional Darug custodians of the Berala lands and creeks. The composition is 4.8m long and titled in Darug language “Welcome, from wherever you may come from”.
The Launch Welcome to Country made by Chris Tobin (photo) with, guest Elder Uncle David Williams, Lord Mayor Greg Cummings and Deputy Lord Mayor Glenn Elmore. Many thanks to Council’s Martha Jabour and colleagues for the great opportunity to produce this “welcoming” mural.
Warami wellamabami – hello welcome wherever you may come from,
Banggaray yanara bamuruwu wurungwuri – swamp wallaby, walking on grass, this side of the river,
Burraga yuu ngunyul mulgu gabanrawa badumarri – The bandicoot and feathered swan with eggs by the great water.
More information : This artwork commission was developed from collaborative community workshops responding to the 2018 NAIDOC theme “Because of Her, We Can”. Elements of traditional Aboriginal symbols and hand-prints form an abstract landscape with reference to the pre-colonial wetlands, wildlife and original culture of the Berala area (or ‘Bareela’, named after the once more common and elegant Musk Duck). Berala is within the Dharug language area*.
ARTIST/FACILITATOR: Geoff Sellman, 2018. Digital Graphics: Simon Alexander Cook
• On the left side ochre-orange and red clays of the Cumberland Plain are seen as dryer areas, moving from left to right into the ‘wetlands and swamps’ as bluer-greener areas beside the creeks and larger river.
• Finger like branches of the upper creek catchment join the main stream and linear dots can represent the sedges, ponds and marsh habitat along the streams that once expanded after rain.
• Connecting the past, present and future are indigenous symbols on the ‘duck-egg’ and circular ‘meeting-place’ to suggest the nurturing role of Indigenous women and their community’s ancient ‘connection to country’ along the streams and lakes flowing into Haslams Creek and Parramatta River.
• The ‘love-heart caring-hands’ are seen beside the light-blue egg-like stone painted with detailed ‘foot-print’ markings of Emu and Kangaroo, native fauna that were also more common in the area. These hands and the painted stone elements were developed from the community participant’s own input.
• The vibrant colours and patterning can be seen as an energetic suggestion of memory past that ‘welcomes to country’ Berala’s new cultures and communities. This is also an invitation to learn and nurture the community indigenous wildlife and landscape into the future.