Murungidyal Giwang Bagarra Yandyima Wahluu (Healing; Moon Rising; All over; Wahluu)
acrylic on canvas
100 x 200cm
When I drew the word ‘Healing’, my thoughts went immediately to how Country heals me, heals my Elders, my family, my community, and of how we protect Country as a part of our Cultural Responsibility.
Our sacred Mountain, Wahluu, is a key focus of our protective custodianship. Our sacred Mountain holds many sacred places – for local Wiradyuri Women, Men, and Community. It has been under attack by non-Wiradyuri since before martial law was declared in the area known as Bathurst on August 14, 1824.
Most recently, we have acted protectively to stop a sacred Women’s place from being destroyed by the local council. Behaving in this way is our Cultural responsibility, our Lore, and our example to set. My personal Lore is Sky Lore.
I’ve produced this work with my Ancestors and in consultation with my Elders. The work tells the story of the signal our Ancestors would send to signify the end of the healing of Wahluu. The end of the damage and the illness caused by colonisation.
This is the healing moon that will rise over Wahluu and focuses on the energy of that healing moon drawing down from the sky, coming down and connecting deeply to the earth – to Wahluu. I’ve focused on the sky aspect in regard to detail and I have produced representations of energy rather than the physicality of the landscape (especially as our sacred trees on Wahluu are much more noticeable in real life).
As it happens in my works, a small orb appeared in the lower section of the canvas. In consultation with Aunt Wirribee, we worked out that this represents a remembrance mark of the damage done by colonisation. Like a small scar of a healed wound, it also represents the scale of Wahluu in comparison to the damage caused by colonisation – tiny in comparison to the energy and presence of a healed and healthy Wahluu, which makes us local Wiradyuri healed and healthy as well.
We are Country, Country is us.
We care for Country, Country cares for us.