wonguim wilam public art commission

18 Jul 2023
Liveable Places and Spaces Warrandyte

A new public artwork by prominent artist Simone Thomson has been commissioned for wonguim wilam in Warrandyte.

The new artwork is a composite of two parts that will include a:

  • Gathering Circle, and
  • Sculpture

Site preparation work will commence in August for the Gathering Circle, and then the sculpture installed this summer.

The commission highlights the significance of the area to Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung People, and provides a visual expression of Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung culture.

Simone Thomson is a Naarm-based artist, muralist and creative, and a Woi-Wurrung Wurundjeri and Yorta-Yorta Traditional Owner through her mother. She draws inspiration for her art through her spiritual connection to Country and the rich colours and textures of the earth and sky. She continues the sacred art of storytelling, remaining strongly connected to her culture through the ancestral knowledge and oral history as passed down through her mother and grandmother.

In the statement below Simone speaks to the first component of the work being installed this Spring.

“In the Aboriginal way, the Gathering Circle or Meeting Place is a place where community comes to connect with one another, to sit down and discuss cultural business and family matters and to learn and share stories. This is how our oral history has been passed on for thousands of generations – by facing one another with respect and hearing our songlines and men’s and women’s business from our Elders, our knowledge holders and leaders who are our teachers.

This Gathering Circle will represent the importance of community and the preservation of cultural practices to the oldest continuous culture on Earth. It will be a place of reflection on Country and offer a peaceful connection to the lands and waterways in which it sits along the beautiful Birrarung, the river of mist and shadows”