CQU's stunning mural to recognise Darumbal heritage
LOOKING into the past is often hard for Darumbal elder Aunty Ollie but as she looked up at the honourable portrait of herself the future was bright.
After living in the Rockhampton region for most of her life, Aunty Ollie was proud to represent the Indigenous people of Darumbal descent looking over the community of CQUniversity.
With four generations of family watching on, Aunty Ollie was honoured to be chosen for such an inspiring tribute.
Her wise portrait was painted beside that of CQU alumni Mal Mann's, who said the duo were looking into the future for the generations following them.
"Our looks through those portraits are about looking into the future and that's where our passions lie," he said.
"We want to see the next scientists and engineers come out of this university."
Mal said he was honoured the university was coming on board with the journey of cultural identity.
Artist in Residence at CQU Bill Gannon officially unveiled the two portraits yesterday morning to a crowd of 120 young Indigenous students and generations of family and friends.
The soothing sounds of the didgeridoo echoed as the elders and representatives left their mark on the mural in the shape of their hand print.
Crowds applauded as Aunty Ollie fittingly was the first to leave her hand print on the wall in a bright white paint.
Students lined up eager to also leave their mark in the hope one day they'd come back and show their families they were apart of such a significant day.
Bill and his fellow artists, Luke Gannon and Jon Watson, spent three days completing the giant murals after a three-month process.
"We wanted to gauge a sense of age and it all became reality when they agreed to be apart of it," he said.
The murals are painted entirely using spray paint with the addition of hand prints along the bottom which Bill said completed the portraits perfectly in respect of the Darumbal culture.
He said their goal of creating a character among shades of lightness and darkness was ticked off.
CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Scott Bowman said after a trip to Broken Hill, he and Bill came back inspired to make the CQU campus an inspiring art central.
Prof Bowman said he was honoured to be amongst the longest living culture in the world and was blown away by the murals.
"They're now our most prominent piece of artwork at the university and it's important to reinforce to our students that we are living on traditional Darumbal land," he said.