One of the external walls of SA Water’s Kadina Depot on the Yorke Peninsula is now home to artwork dedicated to sharing and celebrating the significance of water to the region’s Traditional Owners, the Narungga people.
The centrepiece of the mural is Narungga totem, the butterfish, with sacred fishing spots and techniques passed down through generations, making coastal waters a key part of Narungga identity.
SA Water’s Reconciliation Action Plan Coordinator Sarah Smith said this artwork not only helps to tell the Narungga people’s water story, but it also provided an opportunity to foster the career of a young local artist.
“The Kadina mural was created and painted by emerging Narungga artist Tamika Gollan-Wanganeen under the mentorship of established Aboriginal artist Samantha Gollan,” Sarah said.
“Under Samantha’s guide, Tamika was introduced to all areas of the art profession, from working through design concepts and procurement details with our team, to painting and promoting the final piece.
“There is a lot of talent out there, and we’re proud to do our bit in bringing artists like Tamika to the fore.
“Our commitment to Reconciliation involves building relationships and increasing the wider community’s understanding of the value and importance of Aboriginal people’s knowledge and history, and I think a really beautiful and powerful way of doing this is through art.
“SA Water manages a large amount of infrastructure across the state, and as part of our Reconciliation Action Plan, we look forward to working with more emerging and established Aboriginal artists to turn some of these blank canvases into vibrant and culturally-significant pieces of art.”
The Kadina Depot mural complements the recent planting of more than 300-locally sourced native plants in the site’s garden area.
“This landscape work was done in partnership with local Aboriginal business Stone Environmental, along with the Northern Yorke’s branch of the Australian Plants Society,” Sarah said.
“We drew on Stone Environmental’s years of experience in native revegetation in helping to carefully select 34 plant species like the Mallee Blueflower, Austral Bugle and Sturt’s Desert Rose, which were chosen for their heat tolerance and adaptability to the region’s alkaline soils.”
The Kadina Depot mural is one of three artwork projects unveiled by SA Water during National Reconciliation Week this year. In partnership with the Port Augusta City Council, a section of the large above ground water pipeline into the regional centre has been painted by Aboriginal artists from the surrounding region, and an installation within the utility’s Adelaide CBD headquarters is now showcasing Aboriginal languages from across South Australia.
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