Groote Eylandt, August 2015
This was my third trip to Groote in the last few years. It was great to be able to build upon existing relationships and make some new ones on top of that. The basic model for this project was my visiting each of the schools at Umbakumba, Angurugu and Milyakbara in the days preceding the One People, One Voice Festival. During my school visits I offered students a workshop on basic aerosol and stencil skills. Over the period of the festival I worked together with those who came along to complete a couple of murals. Umbakumba was the host of this year’s festival and we were able to finish a large dugong on the library building and a turtle on the rec hall.
We also completed a quick mural at Angurugu School which depicts a sea eagle and a dolphin – each of the school house groups.
During my time on the island I was also engaged to work on a mural in the centre of Angurugu. The main components of the mural are a sawfish and a shovelnose shark. The sawfish is an important local totem for Anindilyakwa people. As an ancestral being the sawfish travelled from the mainland looking for a place to settle. Coming to the western shore of Groote Eylandt he leapt from the water and cut a path, creating the Angurugu river. He was followed by a school of rays, cleaning up the river bed as they went. The shovel nose shark transformed into a large rock, close to the current site of Angurugu.