“Here is the final shot of the 9 story wall Elliot Francis Stewart and I painted in Port Adelaide during the Wonder Walls Festival. It was a trying but exciting experience and we are both so stoked to have had this opportunity.
The wall is an ode to the history of the area and we tried our very best to include many things. Firstly the text reads: “Ngadluku Kaurna Miyurna Kaurna Yarta tampinthi. Marni niina pudni Kaurna yarta-ana pudni. Pukipirra tarrkarri mankutitya’dlu tirkanthi.” Translated into English that means “Let’s recognise Kaurna People and Kaurna Land. It’s good that you came to Kaurna land. Learn from the past so that we can grasp the future.”
Considering the past of the region and how affected Kaurna and other
indigenous people have been, I think this is such an incredible sentiment to have and feel honoured to have been given the task of painting these words. Ironically (and as always there’s a serendipitous aspect to every large wall I paint) we completed this on Australia Day.
The figure Elliot painted is looking back into the past with her arm extended out clutching some of the earth. Within the soil is some of the objects we found on the ground around our site, mainly birds eggs, feathers and skulls. The entire cycle of birdlife was visibly represented at our feet and we felt that was poetic. She has a hammer in one hand and a tool belt, this is an ode to Port Adelaide’s more recent past as an industrial centre but also represents
the rejuvenation the area is going through currently. She has one foot in the past, that knee is ripped and one foot forward, the tear on that knee has been patched up with the Indigenous flag.
We would like to extend a huge thanks to Uncle Lewis O’Brien for preparing the text for us, Jack Buckskin (who is doing so much work to define Kaurna as a written & spoken language) for making sure the spelling was current, Joel
Moore and Jane Marr for co-ordinating and making this mural happen. Also Digby and Sam for operating the lifts and keeping us company for a week. Thank you.”