where the Birrarung River meets Merri Creek


At Dights Falls, where, the Birrarung (Yarra) River, meets Merri Creek, there is a mural created in collaboration with the Wurundjeri People, whose Elders granted permission for use of the Woiwurrung language and stories. 


"Dights Falls is a very special place for the Wurrundjeri People and others. Where the river narrowed, it allowed access to cross the river, to trap fish and eels, and as a meeting place of some significance."

 

"The eels were there, 
they were everywhere.
There were big ones,
there were little ones.
The people cooked them up.


 Trap them,
skin them,
cut them up,
fry them."


There is beauty and power in the painted words and images, but the paint is peeling and the mural is in need of restoration.



TEARS, HOPE AND HEALING

"A beautiful little blue bird was standing on a branch that was
moving gently in the breeze, he was close to us, watching us
my sister and were yarning near the waterways. 'Sister, look how beautiful the
rocks are here. Think of all the times we have come to sit together and look deep in the flowing water. How peaceful is this place. The water sparkles with flecks of gold ... shimmering...'

The Birrarung (Yarra) reminds me on an upside-down 
river because of its muddy water.
We will be healed by these waters."

                                      - Aunty Alice Kolasa 



Bunjil, a spiritual being, created this land - the animals, the trees, all living things in it. Ancestors left their mark on the land. Aborigines belong to the land and respect the land.


 Walking further along the path, the mural was replaced by graffiti. The contrast was jarring. No longer was there a sense of peace, of reverence for nature, and for the past. There wasn't even a sense that the 'artists' were aware of where they were, the context and location and surroundings of the walls they were covering. They could have been anywhere.




Comments

  1. The contrast is incredible. Jarring.
    And I am supremely grateful that the graffiti artists (?) didn't see fit to defile the beauty of the murals.
    Would that we could all share the aboriginal respect and connection with the land.

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    1. Hi EC, interesting you say that about no one trashing the murals. I think this mural could be a real drawcard for tourists, but it's not well known. Maybe just as well.

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  2. The original mural is very special.

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    1. Have you seen it? If not, I'll show you when you're next in town. xx

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  3. I used to think graffiti was unique to cities but it's crept into natural areas here too. The original mural, even if aged, is charming and scenery is beautiful.

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    1. the thing that makes this wonderful place unusual is that it is really close to the city.

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  4. that blue bird still looks pristine. Hope the graffiti continues to respect the mural.

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    1. let's hope no racists learn about it.

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  5. Fascinating in so many ways. The murals are stunningly beautiful. I see the talent in the graffiti artists work, too. It would be neat to see them turn their work into a more appropriate representation in that setting. That last photo shows how beautiful the scenery is there.

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    1. Thanks, Beth.It's a very special place, I have loved sharing it with you.

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  6. You made me Google again :-) So much to learn ...

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    1. sometimes I think the more we learn the more we realize we don't know.

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  7. Dights Falls, does indeed look like a very special place. So pleased to see your graffiti artists have a sense of respect.

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    1. I guess graffiti artists are like other people: some have sense of respect, others don't.

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  8. Graffiti artists will paint wherever they find a surface. Sigh.

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    1. Hi Linda, thanks for this. I agree with the sigh but I went back to Dights Falls the other day with my son and he helped me to see the newer style graffitis differently. They don't depict the past like the mural does, but they are a current way of expression and worth thinking about what they are saying. Some of it is just mindless tags, but some of it, as Beth says above, shows talent.

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