BUNJIL THE EAGLE
One of the Remote Art Club projects combined Art + Design, sustainability, problem solving and Aboriginal culture. Students had to create a bird or eagle sculpture, as a symbol to represent our courage during lockdown.
Firstly, students learnt about the history of our local Indigenous people, who are the Wurundjeri. They are from the Woiwurrung language group, in the Kulin region in Victoria. Wurundjeri occupied the Birrarung (Yarra River) Valley before British colonisation of the area, which is around the present location of Melbourne.
Students watched a video of Aunty Joy Murphy-Wandin explain the importance of Bunjil (an eagle) to the Wurundjeri people, and why it is important to look after the land. Aunty Joy said, “Whenever there’s a fearsome time, or a time of doubt, or you’re not quite sure which way to go, or what you should do: Most times an eagle will feature, just fly or be visible, and that gives a sense or is saying ‘I’m doing the right thing’”. This is why we used this symbol as our inspiration to represent what we are experiencing in lockdown.
The challenge was to create a bird or eagle from recycled cardboard (such as a cereal box) without using glue or tape. I pointed out some tutorials that use slits and interlocking panels to assemble the sculpture together. Students were also asked to consider standing or hanging their sculpture for the final presentation.
Arts Domain Leader and Teacher of Visual Arts and Design
While making this artwork, I found putting all the pieces together was difficult because I needed to position all the pieces correctly. I learnt that in Aboriginal culture, Bunjil created the land and represents courage and reassurance in hard times. My bird sculpture represents courage during lockdown by being a constant symbol of perseverance and reassurance.
Olivia K – 7B
Aboriginal Art is very interesting and colourful. Their culture is different to ours. The challenging bit of the design was making and cutting out the beak. As well as cutting the lines to put the wings in. This bird represents our courage during lockdown, because being in lockdown is very hard. Sometimes we hear on TV many people are dying but we are home safe and sound. Life must go on.
Joshua M (7B) and Nicholas M (7A)