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Increasing the prominence of Aboriginal art in Canterbury-Bankstown is one of the ways local artist, Jason Wing, hopes to remind people of indigenous history that had been forgotten.
At 4pm on Saturday 30 March, Mr Wing will unveil a new mural at Ewen Park in Hurlstone Park, as part of the 2019 Wurridjal Festival, which celebrates the Cooks River.
The new mural depicts the lost story of Aboriginal warrior, Pemulwuy, who was noted for uniting many clans from Botany Bay to the Blue Mountains, to resist European settlers, while also using the Cooks River to navigate up and down the region.
It is said Pemulwuy would escape being captured by the Europeans by transforming into a crow, something which is illustrated in Mr Wing’s artwork.
Mr Wing said the mural was about bringing the past into the present and spreading Aboriginal art and culture in the community.
"There is an extreme lack of Aboriginal presence in our community, so I am hoping this is one of the small ways we can address that," the Canterbury-based artist said.
"I wanted to celebrate Pemulwuy as he had been written out of most of the history books. It’s a chance for him to become a household name, as he was such a significant leader for our people. I felt like I was guided by my ancestors to tell this story and had a responsibility to speak for them. There was also a personal connection for me, being of Aboriginal heritage myself, and going down to the Cooks River almost every day."
Since painting the mural, Mr Wing said he’s received positive feedback.
"The local Aboriginal community is thrilled that Pemulwuy is getting exposure, but even the non-Aboriginal community has been fascinated in learning the story behind the artwork," he said.
"What I would love to see is this mural being the first of many along the river. I hope the community will support and encourage public art, so one day we can see our own Sculpture by the Sea-like program."
Mayor Khal Asfour welcomed the completion of artwork.
"I commend Mr Wing for wanting to increase the awareness of Aboriginal history and culture in the community, and encourage other artists to think about doing the same," he said.
22/03/2019 4:09 PM