The mosaiced head of rainbow water snake Dugg’un will lead visitors on a trail through a new bush tucker garden at Community Lifestyle Support.
Featuring designs and colours chosen by Taribelang Bunda elders, and crafted by mosaic master Paul Perry with help from community members in a number of workshops, Dugg’un represents the rainbow water snake in dreamtime stories of the Taribelang Bunda culture.
Taribelang Bunda representative Byron Broome said he enjoyed partnering with Paul and CLS to bring the cultural history to life.
“The dreamtime story of Dugg’un; Dugg’un is the sea serpent that comes from Butchulla country, it is a shared dreamtime story between Butchulla and us,” he said.
“It’s an ancient dreamtime story that the elders have kept alive through the family.
“In the story of the Dugg’un it used to come up to Bundaberg country and eat all the turtle eggs, in our language turtles are named Meeba.
“We tell the story to the community to grab a hold of the whole dreamtime story.”
Byron said he and the elders chose the colours of Dugg’un as she was a rainbow sea serpent.
The blues represent the ocean with splashes of colour from the coral reefs it swam through.
“It’s good to see the community get engaged to create something together for Bundaberg,” he said.
“It’s good for us that the colours represent our country and our land, and Dugg’un had all the colours of the rainbow on her because she was a sea serpent.
“The colours were very particular… I think the Dugg’un head (mosaic) is amazing.”
Once complete the large mosaic will find a home at the entrance to the community nursery’s up-coming bush tucker garden.
Inviting community members to take part in one of 12 workshops to create Dugg’un Paul said he had people from all walks of life attend.
“Some of the participants have worked previously on mosaics with me, and then there are others including CLS clients and their carers who come along and had fun – they had a ball actually, it was lovely,” Paul said.
“There’s regulars and there’s newbies plus people from outside the of box – the idea of this particular project was to incorporate all of those things into it as a real community project.
“It’s CLS’s ethos to make it really community based and all-inclusive, it’s that sort of connection that really got me excited.
“Projects like this not only expose people to art, help make art accessible and create opportunities for people to be involved, they also creates a sense of ownership. For me it’s about growing the sense of community ownership.”
Community Lifestyle Solutions CEO Damien Tracey said they had been liaising with representatives of the Taribelang Bunda people to incorporate as much of the cultural history of the area into the development of the new bush tucker garden.
“We were aware of the high-quality mosaic artworks that Paul Perry has undertaken within the area over the last few years and his inclusion of local community participation and Indigenous input into his projects,” Damien said.
“We were especially interested in having him work with our communities to create this artwork feature.”
Paul said Nardoo Nursery’s bush tucker garden would be accessible to the public through pre-arranged visits to the CLS or during the Nursery’s open days.
“The bush tuckers garden will have interactive information panels for the public to read and engage with at key locations, these will explain the nature of the traditional uses for the various plants in the garden, including food and medicine; and the dreamtime stories associated with those plants, where available,” Paul said.
“This will be combined with the cultural information prepared by and developed in conjunction with Taribelang Bunda representatives.
“It’s very much about sharing with them and getting them to share their culture back into the area and within the community.”
This project was made possible with support from Community Lifestyle Support and the Bundaberg Regional Council through a Regional Arts Development Fund Quick Response Grant. RADF is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Bundaberg Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.