Quandamooka Festival brings live mural to Cleveland Library

As part of the 2017 Quandamooka Festival, a nine-metre tall mural entitled dabilbahnba – meaning place of saltwater – will soon adorn the Cleveland Library building in Middle Street.

Prominent Quandamooka artists, mother and daughter team Sandra and Shara Delaney have been working to bring the mural from conception to completion in collaboration with mentoring artists Matthew Newkirk and Deb Mostert and project curator Craig Flood, from CREATIVEMOVE.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said that the joint project between Redland City Council and the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) celebrated another successful Quandamooka Festival while providing Redland residents with a visual connection to the our local Aboriginal heritage.

“It is wonderful to have Sandra and Shara Delaney share some of the earliest Quandamooka stories while beautifying and providing a focal point in the heart of Cleveland,” Cr Williams said.

Sandra, who created the initial concept design, said that it depicted Kabul and Warrajamba, ancestral beings who represent the spirituality and energy associated with saltwater, fresh water and land.

Quandamooka artist Sandra Delaney

Quandamooka artist Sandra Delaney

“Their inclusion in the design highlights the significance of the land and sea to the Quandamooka people,” Sandra said.

“The three large circles represent our three clan groups, being connected by Kabul (the carpet snake) on his journey through Quandamooka Country. These circles also portray the spiritual and cultural connection between Minjerribah, Mulgumpin, the bay islands and the mainland.

“The red circles depict the story of Warrajamba, the mermaid whose blood was spilt on country to create a red sand hill and whose spirit inhabits the landscape. The blue elements represent the mangroves because we are saltwater gooris.

Mural design with interpretation

Mural design with interpretation

From the concept design, Shara took over to create a canvas artwork, which will form the basis of the mural, to be painted in situ on the library wall from 4 to 8 December (weather permitting).

Consultant curator Craig Flood said that Matthew Newkirk and Deb Mostert, both large scale mural specialists, provided advice on up scaling the artwork and the use of techniques specific to this media.

“Matt will work with Shara in painting the mural on the library wall using a range of spray painting, stencilling and patterning techniques – all from a scissor lift crane,” Craig said.

Local Councillor of Division 2 Peter Mitchell said that he was looking forward to the artwork taking shape and encouraged locals to come by to see Shara and Matt in action throughout the week.

“Shara and Matt will be working in the earlier and cooler part of the day, most likely from 8am to 2pm,” Cr Mitchell said.

Sandra and Shara Delaney will also host an artists’ talk at the Redland Art Gallery, Cleveland on 11.30am, Sunday 3 December ahead of installation starting across the road the very next day. Everyone is welcome to come along.

Dabilbahnba is a 2017 Quandamooka Festival project partnered by QYAC and the Creative Arts Redlands’ Public Art Program of Redland City Council.