Artists share their stories in Gardens

Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser
Noongar artists Donna Williams, Kiya Watt and Michael Cummings.
Camera IconNoongar artists Donna Williams, Kiya Watt and Michael Cummings. Credit: Laurie Benson/Main picture: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

A series of indigenous artworks produced by talented Menang Noongar artists from Albany will be installed around the Mokare memorial statue.

Kiya Watt, Michael Cummings, Donna Williams and Shandell Cummings are the four local indigenous artists who have been working for the past nine months to develop their interpretative art at the newly developed Alison Hartman Gardens.

Ms Williams, with the help of other elders in the region, has compiled a series of tiles to be installed as part of the garden’s seating.

“We have 29 tiles in total from the group and five of them are mine,” she said.

“The concept is basically something that reflects them and their family.

“There’s a few that made the tiles with their family totems and others reflecting what they feel about their culture. We also have one lady reflecting on the time her grandfather went to the war.”

Menang artist Michael Cummins, who completed an interpretative art sign for the project, said it was important for people to learn the real history of the Menang Noongar people when they stepped into the memorial garden.

“Mokare was the custodian of this area and I think it was appropriate for local artists to do these interpretative arts because only Menang people could reinterpret what is down here,” he said.

“We want to get the language and the history correct.”

Young indigenous artist Watt will be contributing her dot paintings to the garden, which will be her interpretation of the six Noongar seasons.

Shandell Cummings, meanwhile, will plant native fauna and install art showing the English, Noongar and botanical names of the plants.

The four local artists will be at the Alison Hartman Gardens on Saturday, July 13 to tell the stories behind each of their pieces.

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