Last year I was working with Kendall Henry on a street art project for Avalon.
The project is a collaborative effort with Aboriginal elders and three artists Jess Birk, Julie Janson and Sylke Claridge to honour the history and settlement on Pittwater as early as 25,000 years ago.
First was the land.
Then came the Aboriginal people with their unique skillsets and way of life in harmony with the land.
Then came the European settlers …
For a time there was some harmonious co-existence between the settlers and Aboriginal people – some Indigenous clans, such as the family as Chief Bungaree and Queen Matora held high status in the colonial period. They were close friends of Governor Lachlan Macquarie.
Their story is being told on the Surfboard timeline and the settlement of Avalon.
Ten surfboards were painted upon with images from the aboriginal past including Chief Bungaree and Queen Matora. All surfboards referring to sacred sites were painted exclusively by aboriginal artists Julie Janson and Jess Birk, more surfboards were painted upon in collaboration with elders.
The surfboards tell the story of over 10,000 years aboriginal settlement and 200 years of white settlers at the opening Lois Birk did the first smoking ceremony in Avalon.
The surfboards were arranged in a circle evocative of Guringai Dreamtime site circles – mythical – full of strength and the tip of the surfboards remind us of spearheads.