’8 Larrakia Family Murals’
Location: Larrakia Nation – 76 DickWard Drive Coconut Grove (Darwin, NT)
The ‘Larrakia Family Murals’ project engaged Larrakia artists from the eight Larrakia families (from within the Larrakia clan – the Traditional Owners of the Darwin Region). These families are represented on the front exterior the Larrakia Nation Head Office.
Each family’s position on the wall was chosen by the eight board members via a number system selected as an impartial draw from a hat during a Larrakia Nation Board meeting. Each family also selected their own ‘family artist’ to represent their family clan. Each participating artist consulted with their families on the content and style of their family mural. The four Larrakia Nation corporate colours (ochre colours) and black and white were suggested for the four key colours to use – with liberty in tonal levels.
- Cubillo Family – Artist: Danella Lee & Tony Lee
- Batcho Family – Artists: Dianne Quall & Denise Quall
- Browne/Talbot/Kenyon Family – Artists: Krystal Browne & Donna Jackson
- Raymond/Mills Family – Artist: June Mills
- Fejo Family – Artists: Dotty Fejo & Lawrence Bell
- Roman/Danks Family – Artists: Linda Hill & Angela Danks
- McLennan Family – Artists: Margie Seibert, with Rafael, Marius and Daniel
- Shepherd Family – Artist: Kenny Reid
This project was supported by funding delivered by ICS (Indigenous Culture Support), through the Ministry for the Arts, Attorney-General’s Department
1. CUBILLO MURAL
Artist: Danella Lee
The Cubillo family Clan, chose the Lee artists to represent them, there was a discussion with the board representative and other members on the family Clan totem. The Frog that sits next to Darriba Nygalinya (Old man Rock at Casuarina Beach) was chosen to tell the story of kenbi Kenbi to highlight and frog Dreaming.
Description of Mural Art Work
The large circle represents the eye and the opening and looking down the tunnel of the Kenbi Kenbi Dreaming, the frog hand in the middle of the circle represents the frog dreaming that sits next to Old Man in the salt water off Casuarina Beach .
The five fingers represent the different dreaming connected that travel through, come out of and sit down at Old man Rock, there are five e.g: Kenbi Kenbi (water)man’/women’sceromony business, mermaid and frog. The colours used in the mural are the natural ochre paint , and green the colour of the bush, used by Larrakia people in ceremony, medicine and trade. Kinbi Kembi is the name given to the slow moving fresh water that travels under the land under the sea that travels through Larrakia Land, Australia and through the Earth.
Artists: Dianne Quall & Denise Quall
Artists: Krystal Browne & Donna Jackson
Artist: June Mills
This mural represents the cultural Larrakia bloodline. The crocodile is at the centre. It is our dreaming, and represents our grandfather.
On the left is my father’s dreaming: black snake. This dreaming is associated with the Dinah beach area. Mangrove roots and cockles are depicted to represent Dina Beach. It’s now the Duck Pond – where the boats are moored. It used to have clear spring water running from One Mile dam and out into the saltwater. The area also used to have mud flats, where we would gather cockles, cook them on a fire and eat them. Grannies and their grandchildren could easily and safely pick up cockles. This was an important thing for them to do together.
At the right of the crocodile my Aunty‘s dreaming – the crab – is represented. This dreaming is associated with Bestys Beach. The waterlily and the crab are there to depict the Bestys Beach area.
5. FEJO MURAL
This painting is about Acacia Community. Family get together. Dry season and wet season, these are the types of food we eat. The goanna, long neck turtle, short neck turtle. Also the peanuts in the dry season and the goose we mainly eat during the wet season.
When we all get together we have a great big feast, and teach our younger generations how to hunt for the exact same food we eat. This painting represents showing our young how to hunt and what food to eat.
Artists: Margie Seibert, with Rafael, Marius and Daniel
Through this mural project Margie Siebert passed on knowledge to son Daniel (now based in Oenpelli) and two Darwin-based nephews:
Raffey and Marius.
Margie’s great-grandfather William McLennan told her how the Dugong was their family totem. Every time the family used to go to the beach the dugongs would come and visit them, often at Shoal Bay. The grandfather passed away at Shoal Bay.
Dugong oil is traditionally known as having strong healing properties. Dugongs are vegetarian, living off seagrass.
Artists: Linda Hill and Angela Danks
Salt water meets fresh water. Survival of the dangalabba salt water crocodile, this mural is of the baby dangalabba has just been born. This represents the next generations of my people; the Larrakia. Like the crocodile we are survivors because, I am a dangalabba. We are still here and strong as ever.
The circle represents the circle of life sitting together to make strong decisions for the future. Our country is very important to us Larrakia and we are reasonable for all living creatures and looking after our country and important sights.
I am a salt water woman and the sea is the life of us. Gullinbiragin Larrakia dangaladda is our life.
8. SHEPHERD MURAL
Larrakia are known as The Saltwater People. This mural depicts creatures of the saltwater: fish, stingrays, crocodiles, mud crabs and jellyfish.
“I make public art for
recognition of Larrakia people and our land, people see our art and they know that this is Larrakia Land. Public art gets our kids interested in our culture and through the kids is the only way we will keep it alive.” – Kenny Reid