A new installation of sculptures celebrating Kaurna culture has been installed to sit proudly on the corner of the South and Sturt Road intersection, one of the final pieces of the Darlington Interchange.
The sculptures pay tribute to the Tjilbruki Dreaming story, the best-known Dreaming narrative of the Kaurna people, based on a complex and multi-layered story of creation, law and human relationship.
They were created by Kaurna/Ngarrindjeri artist Alan Sumner in collaboration with artist Karl Meyer and Exhibition Studios who specialise in the design and construction of innovative, engaging public art and exhibitions. The artworks were commissioned by SA Infrastructure and Transport and owners the City of Marion and the City of Mitcham.
This first installation is called puru yuwanthi, meaning still standing.
Tjilbruki is a pukiana miyu ancestor of the Kaurna miyurna people, from the time after the sea waters had risen and created wangka yarlu (the Gulf of St Vincent). In the dreaming, Tjilbruki travels to the big camp at Warriparinga (Darlington) where he finds the body of his nephew and carries the body to the freshwater spring at Tulukutangga (Kingston Park). This multi-faceted journey continues South of Adelaide to Cape Jervis at the bottom of the Fleurieu Peninsula.
The second piece is called purruna martinthi, meaning to cradle life.
Water and fire are essential to living and giving life. The child form expresses strength and reflects the importance of family. The Coolamon acts as a vessel for family, fire and water and is grounded in the big camp at Warriparinga (Darlington).
The sculptures were the product of the collaboration of Aboriginal Contemporary Arts, Kaurna Yerta Aboriginal Corporation, Exhibition Studios, SA Infrastructure and Transport, the City of Marion and the City of Mitcham.
They stand on Sturt Road as an impressive welcome to the $754.5 million Darlington Interchange project.
The artworks were installed on the 16th October 2020 with attendance from the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Mr Corey Wingard, Mayor of Marion Chris Hana, CEO of Marion Adrian Skull, Mayor of Mitcham Heather Holmes-Ross, City of Mitcham CEO Matt Pears, Kaurna Yerta Aboriginal Corporation (KYAC) Representatives, Kaurna Elders, Senior DIT project team and the collaborating artists.