First permanent contemporary Aboriginal artwork in Georges River

Georges River Council

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First permanent contemporary Aboriginal artwork in the Georges River area will be created by First Nations artist Danielle Mate.

Her striking artwork will appear on the walls of newly installed bat caves at the Lower Poulton Park, Blakehurst.

Designed to echo the distinctive shape of bats, Danielle’s artwork talks to a strong First Nations aesthetic, place, and cultural perspective.

The artwork uses a contemporary approach to depict key elements of traditional land and the environment where local bats inhabit.

Works by the Murrawari and Euahlayi artist often reflect the natural flora and fauna, inspired by the textures and colour of local landscapes.

Danielle said, “My designs are a bold contemporary reflection on the environment of which the bat caves are now situated.

“I want the work to be vibrant, playful, colourful and an exciting welcome for visitors to the park and creek.”

Georges River Council’s Hurstville Museum and Gallery and the Georges River Public Art Reference Committee managed the commission.

The selection panel stated the choice of artist was “a unanimous decision – we felt her design had a profound Aboriginal presence.

“Danielle’s images firmly reference First Nations people’s gathering and understanding of waterside sites as significant and important for survival and gathering of people on Country.

“Her energetic use of colour palette was more thoughtful and tailored to the overall experience of the park, reflecting seasonal and time changes in the bush.

“Her artwork has considered the broader design, scale and experience of the Lower Poulton Park, and reflects her perspective of the site.”

The recently completed Lower Poulton Park Naturalisation and Habitat Development aims to increase local environmental value by remediating an old depot site to support the connectivity of green corridors, provide habitat refuges and increase the naturalised space for our community.

Danielle Mate’s artwork comes as part of the project, creating native habitats, such as bat caves, bee hotels, rock platforms and bird stands that have been established from repurposed materials to support native fauna populations in the park.

Georges River Mayor Nick Katris said, “The opening of the Lower Poulton Park will be a proud moment for the entire Georges River community – welcoming the true artistic reflection of Country and making a new home for native wildlife.

“Danielle’s artwork will be a special acknowledgement of First Nations People, and a celebration for the traditional custodians of this land.”

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