Warrnambool mural to combine cultures

A MURAL planned for Warrnambool’s CBD will combine ancient narratives and new technology in an innovative first for the city.

Named for an indigenous word for “welcome”, the Gnatanwarr Mural will aim to depict significant stories from the Gunditjmara people and potentially other indigenous groups from the south-west.

The artwork will also include QR codes, which will allow people to scan sections of the mural with their phones to learn more about the events, locations, stories and ideas shown.

The project is a joint initiative from Leadership Great South Coast, Gunditjmara Aboriginal Co-operative, The F Project, and the WAG.

Artists are being invited to submit an expression of interest for the project by October 10, with three artists to be shortlisted and interviewed before a final decision is made by a selection committee.

The successful artist will work with traditional landowners and local historians to create the mural.

The finished work is planned to be unveiled as part of Close The Gap Day on March 20 next year.

Leadership Great South Coast executive officer Amanda Hennessy said the idea came from participants in the leadership program, with the project aimed at “engaging the local indigenous community” and the “ongoing need for a celebration of indigenous heritage”.

She said that once the artist was selected there “will be a comprehensive community consultation process”.

The location of the mural is yet to be decided.

Among the leadership program participants is Gunditjmara Aboriginal Co-operative chief executive Marcus Clarke, who said the mural could help address something missing in the south-west.

“(You) can’t go anywhere in Warrnambool to learn about Aboriginal culture and the people who come before us,” he said.

“There’s no interpretative centre.

“I think the mural can depict significant events in time, significant people that have done a great deal for the community or significant places.

“It might be a story on the war contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, or it could be about the mission (at Framlingham).”

What the final imagery and ideas are will be the result of consultation with Gunditjmara people, other indigenous groups in the south-west and the wider community, he said.

Expressions of interest can be obtained by emailing [email protected] or by visiting Gunditjmara Aboriginal Co-operative in Kepler Street, Warrnambool.

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