Arts & Culture

Eurobodalla seeks Indigenous artist to create shire wide ‘Umbarra’ sign design

Elka Wood 29 October 2019
Pacific Black Duck. Photographer: Dick Whitford © Australian Museum

Pacific Black Duck. Photographer: Dick Whitford, Australian Museum.

The Eurobodalla’s Aboriginal artists have an opportunity to share their strong connection to the land by contributing to new town and village signs across the shire, part of Council’s wayfinding project, due to be completed at the end of this year.

Council has called for expressions of interest from indigenous artists able to contribute to sign design, but get in quick because applications close on November 11.

Strategic Planning Officer Angie Radford says the new entry signs would feature a laser-cut motif representing ‘Umbarra’ meaning the black duck.

“During meetings with our local Aboriginal community, Umbarra was identified as a totem for all Dhurga speaking people,” Ms Radford says “there’s been clear community feedback for an icon which represents Eurobodalla, with strong support for umbarra.”

As well as a laser-cut image of umbarra, the new signs will feature local timber species, locally quarried stone, the colour turquoise to represent beaches and waterways, orange rusted steel to represent bark and rocks and a sweeping curve representative of the Eurobodalla’s coastline, rolling hills and mountains.

This mock-up of the new entrance signs to be installed across Eurobodalla towns does not include the laser cut representation of umbarra, or black duck. Photo: Supplied.

This mock-up of the new entrance signs to be installed across Eurobodalla towns does not include the laser cut representation of umbarra, or black duck. Photo: Supplied.

The signs will also all say “walawaani njindiwan,” which means “safe journeys everyone,” in the local Dhurga language.

Nominees should be from country in Eurobodalla or have strong ties to the shire, be willing to enter into a licence agreement with Council, and able to complete the work in the agreed timeframe.

“The successful artist will receive a one off payment of $3,500 to create the work and transfer copyright,” Ms Radford says, adding that “the design is to be laser-cut into steel, so close collaboration with Council is expected to ensure the artwork suits the medium.”

A panel made up of representatives from Eurobodalla Shire Council staff, South East Arts, Council’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee and Public Art Advisory Committee will evaluate the submitted designs. It is anticipated the successful applicant will be contacted by November 22.

Council says that the entry signs that were installed in Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma in 2016 may not fit with this new design and style but, unless there is a cost-effective way to retrofit them to bring them in line with the new style, they will be retained until the end of their useful lives.

For more information or to submit a design, visit Eurobodalla Shire Council’s website or contact Angie Radford on 44741202 or [email protected]

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One Response to Eurobodalla seeks Indigenous artist to create shire wide ‘Umbarra’ sign design

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Jeff de Jager 7:55 am 30 Oct 19

Great to see the sensitive thought going into this project by involving good local input. Let’s hope the result will not be dead ducks like the existing ones

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