Koombana Foreshore public art project acknowledges Noongar significance

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Two local Noongar artists have had their works permanently displayed on the exterior of the newly renovated Koombana Foreshore kiosk.

Kye McGuire and Cassandra Jetta were selected for the historic project which recognises the significance of the area to the Noongar people.

The paintings were completed by the artists, photographed and then made into glass panels before being placed on the outside of the building.

All four paintings were submitted to the Goomburrup Elders Group for approval.

Funding for the project was made available from the City of Bunbury Public Art Reserve Fund as an additional project to activate the precinct.

City of Bunbury Manager Arts and Culture Julian Bowron said the works told the stories of the Noongar people.

“Koombana Bay is a place of considerable significance on multiple levels, especially for Noongar people who have gathered there for thousands of years,” Mr Bowron said.

“For modern Bunbury it is a much loved beach and playground, a place of recreation and enjoyment.

This project proposes to combine both of these important meanings while adding vivid visual elements to the area.”

Interpretative plaques will be fixed next to each panel explaining the meaning behind each art work as outlined below.

Artist: Cassandra Jetta

Title:  Kwilena Wiriny Mereny Waangkiny - Dolphin Spirit Calling for Food

This painting represents the story that the old Noongar people have shared along the oceans for many years. It’s the story of the “Kwilena”, the Dolphin helping the Eelap Noongar to provide food for their families for thousands of years. It would dive down and drive the fish towards the shore to the traps and fishermen waiting. Celebrating their catch the Noongar men would dance with joy and all would share the catch.

Artist: Cassandra Jetta

Title: Noongar Moort Boodjak Djoorabiny Nyininy - South West Aboriginal Families Happily Residing on Home Country

This painting represents the beauty of South West Australian sunsets and the sharing, gathering, fishing and diversity of our current and future Noongar Eelup people, still following thousands of years of our culture in many ways with pride and love.

Artist: Kye McGuire

Title: Slipstream

This painting is the artist’s representation of dolphins feeding in the bay and inlet.  The Dolphins work to muster the fish into a tight manageable group before cutting through the middle to catch them in their mouths. Seeing the dolphins do this in the shallows is exciting, their athleticism is admirable.

Artist: Kye McGuire

Title: Crabbing Time

Crabbing Time is a celebration of the artist’s childhood memories of crabbing in summertime.  It represents afternoon and early evening when the crabs come into the shallows to feed.