If you have visited
Taronga Zoo recently you’ll have seen some changes.
Over the past few
years we have been working on projects to better acknowledge and celebrate
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture and Country. Many stakeholders
have been involved so far – but the work of some wonderfully talented
Indigenous artists is on permanent display in the new Main Entry Plaza.
Outside the historic
building is a group of works by a collaborative team coordinated by Jane
Cavanagh of Artlandish Art and Design. The design of each piece was guided by a
young NSW artist, Adrina Kobane, and they were crafted by Tomas and Tibor
Misura. Together the works acknowledge the Saltwater People, Country and
culture of the Cammeraigal, as well as long-held sustainable practices of
Indigenous peoples right across Australia.
A goanna, angophora leaves and Regent Honeyeaters – reinforcing the connections between caring for Country and Taronga’s wildlife conservation.If you look
carefully you will see:a canoe, a fishing
line and a fish – interpreting Cammeraigal salwater culturea Red-necked
Wallaby and a Cammeraigal blade – acknowledging traditional connections to
Country; anda goanna, angophora
leaves and Regent Honeyeaters – reinforcing the connections between caring for
Country and Taronga’s wildlife conservationOnce you walk
through the entry, with its colourful multimedia Welcome Arch,
there is more to explore.
Next to the heritage
Main Entrance building there are two sets of panels. One celebrates Heroes of
Conservation – this one will be updated occasionally, currently it profiles a
couple of Taronga’s fabulous volunteers. The other reminds us of the history of
the Zoo and breadth of conservation activity that Taronga gets involved in.
A unique artwork representing one adult and one young Jabiru. The work is by artist Janice Murray from Melville Island, off the northwest coast of the Northern Territory.Closer to the
wetlands there are two more unique artworks.
The first is
Jipiyontongi, representing one adult and one young Jabiru. The work
is by artist Janice Murray from Melville Island, off the northwest coast of the
The second is
woreminner loonner (bush black woman), it is a metal casting of a Tasmanian
Devil made from bull kelp. Vicki West, a Tasmanian Aboriginal
artist, collaborated on this work with Julie Squires. Soon after it was made
the original bull kelp devil was accepted as an entrant into the 2011 Telstra
sculptures highlight connections between Aboriginal cultural practice and the
Taronga’s wildlife conservation work. Make sure you have a good look and feel
of these beautiful works next time you visit and read the panels to
find out more.