Aboriginal cultural artwork finds an new home in South West Rocks

Kempsey Shire Council

Dunghutti woman Nancy Pattison

A series of important and incredibly inventive cultural art projects have been installed at Back Creek South West Rocks to ensure that Aboriginal artwork has a prominent role in this important location.

Following feedback from the local Aboriginal Community asking to see more representation in this culturally significant area, Kempsey Shire Council has worked in partnership with the South West Rocks Figtree Descendants Aboriginal Corporation on a two stage cultural art project.

The first stage of the project featured has now been unveiled, to reveal the stunning work of local Dunghutti woman Nancy Pattison from South West Rocks Figtree Descendants Aboriginal Corporation. She has designed wraps for the prominent bollards around the foreshore. The wraps feature three sea animals being a fish, a stingray and a crab, that are all significant to the area.

Council Community Projects Officer, Aisha Spokes, said it has been fantastic to collaborate with the local Aboriginal community to produce meaningful projects that make a difference in the community.

“It’s great to be building amazing projects and at the same time sustainable and respectful relationships with the local Aboriginal community,” said Ms Spokes.

The next stage of the cultural art project will see Council and Ms Pattison collaborate with fellow artist Francesca O’Donnell from the Out There Collective to create a symbolic mosaic and engraved timber seat at Back Creek, connecting the local community to local Aboriginal culture.

Cultural elements such as local wildlife significant to the local Aboriginal community of South West Rocks will be featured and the mosaiced timber seat is expected to be installed by the 2022 Autumn school holidays.

Kempsey Shire Council General Manager, Craig Milburn, said Aboriginal culture has always been a vital part of this Shire and that Council is working hard to further improve its relationship with the indigenous community.

“It’s so important to celebrate and acknowledge our shire’s proud Thungghutti and Dunghutti culture and heritage,” said Mr Milburn.

“Through everything from cultural projects like these to our Reconciliation Action Plan that Council is in the process of adopting, we are committed to increasing our connection with the community.”

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