tumblr_niuysqWCQ91qfe969o1_1280

Askew One and Elliot Francis Stewart just finished this massive 9 story wall in Port Adelaide, Australia. The collaboration of the New Zealander and Australian was for the Wonderlandwalls Festival, held in Adelaide this last January. The two artists wanted to pay respect to the local land and peoples history. The writing in the background was painted by Askew One, and is written in Kaurna (the local indigenous group), reading: “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.”

Photo courtesy of The Opening Hours

The figure, painted by Elliot Francis Stewart, has many components linking past to present and future. The figure is looking backward into the past, while moving forward into the future. One hand is clutching a handful of earth containing bird eggs and bones (things the artists found at their feet when painting the mural), and the other hand holding a hammer (a tribute to Port Adelaide’s industrial history). The figure’s pants are torn on both knees. The hind leg knee is unmended (past), the front leg knee is mended with the Australian Aboriginal flag (future).

Photo courtesy of Sam ClarkPhoto courtesy of Sam Clark

The Kaurna people and culture, along with other indigenous Australian peoples, was almost completely destroyed in the mid 19th century with onset of European colonization. However, thanks to extensive documentation by early missionaries, and recent researches and dedicated individuals, a revival of the language and culture is happening. Jack Buckskin (who is doing so much work to define Kaurna as a written & spoken language) assisted the artists with the mural by making sure the spelling was correct. “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.” – Askew One

Photo courtesy of Tricia Watkinson

(story awareness via streetartnews)