Gunimidjina Gwalwa Daraniki (Saltwater Country) is a street art piece that will provide a vibrant Larrakia welcome for visitors to Darwin and for the local population to enjoy. The dynamic Kulumbirigin mural is designed and being produced by Senior Larrakia artist Denise Quall with her brother Tibby Quall as the cultural advisor. The 30-metre mural holds deep cultural significance for local Traditional Owners and will reach the full length of ABC Darwin’s Bennett Street wall (at the intersection of Cavanagh Street).
Ngagan-Dji Nagandji – Bah (Brahminy Kite) features at the beginning of the mural. Its broad wingspan stretches wide across the first section and will welcome people to Larrakia Country, Badjigirri Kulumbirigin Country.
The inspiration for this mural comes from my Mother’s Country and our family totems. Whenever I see Ngagan-Dji Nagandji – Bah flying overhead I feel an instant calm – a good feeling. Ngagan-Dji Nagandji – Bah watches over the Country, healing and protecting, ensuring spiritual connection is maintained.
Gunimidjina Gwalwa Daraniki mural is multi-layered and contains deep spiritual connection to the land and Quall’s Mother’s Country. The colours of the mural represent the natural ochres of Saltwater Country where she grew up and still lives today.
I spent a lot of time sketching ideas down at the beach, the ochres in the rocks and cliffs, that is my library.
Artback NT received a grant through ‘Activate Darwin – Transforming Public Spaces’ to project manage a street art piece that would provide a vibrant Larrakia Welcome and deliver a creative response to improve public spaces and deliver a more walkable city. The vision for Artback NT was to enable and facilitate a project that would create a strong sense of local identity, promotion and pride at an entry point to Darwin. The intention of the mural was to also highlight the diversity of Larrakia experiences by creating awareness and making prominent the unique culture and language of the local people. In turn, this would provide audiences with a sophisticated contemporary representation of Larrakia perspectives.
A Saltwater person from the Dangalaba Clan (Crocodile Clan) Denise Quall was the youngest of five children who grew up on the hill behind ABC Darwin.
Who would have thought, I grew up on the hill behind here, and I’ve seen all the change – dirt roads, old cars. We used to walk up to the centre of town with a saucepan to collect noodle soup from one of the Chinese shops on Cavanagh Street.
This mural is a part of me, part of my family and gives meaning. How to survive on your land, which animals are important and how the seasons signify different time for ceremonies. The spirit world and the modern world.
The painting of Gunimidjina Gwalwa Daraniki mural began during Reconciliation Week 2021. The essence of the mural is beautifully summed up:
Everything is connected – everything is spiritually connected to the seasons, people, animals.
Partnering with Artback NT on ‘Gunimidjina Gwalwa Daraniki’ mural are Activate Darwin, Northern Territory Government, Kulumbiringin Aboriginal Corporation, Larrakia Nation, ABC Darwin and David Collins, Proper Creative.
PO Box 535
Darwin, NT 0801