original work: acrylic on aluminium sheet,
image: printed on canvas
2022 Sulman Prize Submission
Wiradyuri Ngurambang Walumarra – Wiradyuri Giilang – Minyambul Yiri Yirmbang – Wahluu
In the time of the Gudyiin, time of Creation, time immemorial. Our Creator Baayami gifted First Nation’s People with Custodianship of Country, inside this stewardship stories of Country were gifted. Creation stories were the first stories shared with the original Ancestors, then Dreaming stories came next.
In the Creation time of the Gudyiin everything created in this space had a purpose and reason to be.
The Creator shared the story of their importance and being the most environmentally friendly insects and animals created. He knew how hard they worked, so made them with the power to not sting. The females have different patterns to the males and work the hardest.
They lived in little burrows in small numbers and fertilized all the plants, but they also propagate the grassy box woodland areas too.
They took their responsibility seriously along with this they also product ngarru (honey) which has medicinal purpose that we Wiradyuri people gather in different sessions. The Blue Banded Bee like Wiradyuri and other First Nation People only took what they needed, they restored the ngayirrngurang and moved on.
This painting is dedicated to our little Blue Banded Bee.
Our sacred mountain is Wahluu. There is a scared Songline that runs from Wahluu to bubay Wahluu and it is this Songline that is portrayed in the work. We Wiradyuri, with the the counsel and guidance of our Elders, performed a healing ceremony that healed this Songline in 2018. In 2022 the production of the work was housed in Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre which is on that Songline.
The building the completed work is installed on is also on that Songline. In the main shot of the installed work, Wahluu can be seen in the background with the Songline coming off it and moving downward to the bora of Bubay Wahluu.
5 different sacred Wiradyuri ochres have been included in the production of this work, energising and enlivening the piece.
Our Blue Banded Bees come to earth from the Gibirrgan, and begin their descent to the physical realm as glowing white orbs. As they near earth they become golden orbs that become our Blue Banded Bees when they arrive.
The five banded crosshatch that is the Songline represents our Wiradyuri Central Lore, Yindyamarra – To do Slowly; To be Polite; To be Gentle; To Honour; To Respect.
Our Wiradyuri Diamond Lore, our three rivers and our plains are also represented.
Produced in Cultural Consultation with the Bathurst Wiradyuri Elders, Traditional Owners, Lore Holders and Protectors of Wiradyuri Ngurambang.
Birrung: blue sky, the horizon, the firmament
Ngarru: honey also means bee
Waal: bare ground
Wir: air, sky, the Heaven
Giralang: the stars
Dhurrirra: born to be, to bring forth
Gi: to do
Gibirrgan: southern cross
Gulay: crossing place, bridge
Binhalbang: the greatest, the highest, a name applied to a heavenly being
Ngurang: place, camp, nest
Gibany: revenge, retribution
Guran: foolish, stupid