Ballarat artist Deanne Gilson will officially unveil Murrup Laar this weekend – the first public artwork project to be completed as part of the new sculpture park at North Gardens.
Deanne is the first artist to be commissioned for the sculpture park project – a project that coincides with the Lake Wendouree Master Plan, a 20-year strategic plan for the future of Lake Wendouree which supports the activation of the precinct.
Media was able to a sneak preview today, with Deanne and City of Ballarat mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh.
Deanne said she was thrilled with how the art work is progressing and can’t wait for the finished product.
“It has exceeded my expectations and I am so proud,” she said.
“The boys are now doing the top-coat, the landscaping will be finished by the end of today and tomorrow I will be painting the ochre, inside the hut, with a few symbols and my handprint.”
There are also a number of other symbols to be placed directly onto the rocks, which will be in the forming of telling a few stories about the moon, sun and stars, astrology and what the stone circle represents and how it connects to ancestors – past and present.
“It is about ritual and ceremony and Saturday night we will be doing a corrobboree, the first ceremony, and use the stones for what they were originally used for,” Deanne explained.
“They say rocks (basalt) retain memory and the rocks were here when my ancestors were here.
“I am hoping that this place will be used by everyone in the community to come and have a look, see how aboriginal people lived and have evolved and it is also a contemporary artwork but an artwork filled with knowledge, so it keeps our stories going.”
Deanne’s art work is the first project to be delivered as part of the Lake Wendouree Master Plan.
This project also strongly aligns with the Creative City Strategy and accompanying precinct plan which set a vision for new public artwork to be focussed around telling local stories.
Deanne’s piece, which has been inspired by real-lived experience of her ancestors, will be officially unveiled at 6.15pm on Saturday evening at North Gardens.