Aboriginal designs bring connection to Country at Inveresk

kanamaluka by Caleb Nichols-Mansell

The first building to open at Inveresk as part of the University’s redevelopment will be brought to life with the work of North-West Tasmanian Aboriginal artist Caleb Nichols-Mansell.

The first building to open at Inveresk as part of the University’s redevelopment will be brought to life with the work of North-West Tasmanian Aboriginal artist Caleb Nichols-Mansell.

Designs featuring grass-toned local wetlands, the blue-grey hues of saltwater Country and the natural ochre pigments inspired by the kanamaluka/Tamar River will adorn the floors of the new Library and Student Experience building.

With the support of Arts Tasmania, the University’s public art commission invited local Aboriginal artists to create designs that recognise the past, acknowledge the present and welcome the future of Tasmania’s rich and distinctive culture.

The University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor, Aboriginal Leadership, Professor Greg Lehman said this is one of many new opportunities to create a campus where Aboriginal creative practices can flourish.

“The process of reclaiming and celebrating Aboriginal history, culture and knowledge is being embraced as an intrinsic part of the development of the new Inveresk Precinct,” Professor Lehman said.

“We have opportunities to not only recognise the past, but support innovation and entrepreneurship into the future, creating learning places that are welcoming to Aboriginal students and community, and which share Aboriginal culture with all who study, work or visit there.”

Mr Nichols-Mansell’s designs are inspired by deep connections to Country, Community and Spirit and the many past stories of palawa river journeys and daily life.

“Our Old People lived in harmony with the waterways and country they called home. These wetlands sustained life, provided resources and places to gather,” Mr Nichols-Mansell said.

“This work represents the changing colours and winding flow of the river, and also the human interference and pollution that has followed.”

Mr Nichols-Mansell’s designs will be represented on two square and five circular custom carpets of up to 6m in diameter throughout the building, set to open in 2022.

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