Geelong's First Nations-designed NBN boxes have been unveiled for 2023
In an incredible addition to the region, the first two First Nations designs have just been installed at Marshall Reserve on Mornane Road: ‘The Setting Sun of the Serpent’ by Norm Stanley and ‘Ton-Ton (Brain)’ by Jenna Oldaker.
The First Nations NBN Box Artwork Series aims to showcase the importance and significance of our First Nations art and culture and highlight the unique designs by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The designs beautify the landscape, and celebrate a sense of place and the importance of storytelling through art.
Stay up to date with what’s happening within the region’s art scene here.
Jenna Oldaker’s artwork ‘Ton-Ton (Brain)’ is a vibrant and captivating composition of colourful shapes and dots. It’s a representation of the mind coming to life in colour. The traditional U shapes represent people on Wadawurrung Country as they move around the tracks weaving back and forth across the land sharing their stories, history and culture.
Norm Stanley’s artwork comprises hues in red, grey and white, telling the story of ‘The Setting Sun of the Serpent’. As the remnants of the sun disappear on the horizon, we see the serpent slithering through a fiery sky. Norm draws on memories of his childhood and the story of the red sky of the setting sun told by his Elders.
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This art project is a collaboration between the City of Greater Geelong, First Nations artists and NBN Co. The project has been developed in consultation with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners and Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative who have provided guidance and advice on the project.
“Geelong is home to a diverse range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the First Nations NBN Box Design Commissions are an exciting opportunity to bring their designs to public spaces,” says Mayor Trent Sullivan.
“These commissions are an important way to take First Nations designs to communal spaces so that our community can see First Nations artwork out in public.
“I thank the first two First Nations artists that have brought this project to life, Norm Stanley and Jenna Oldaker.
“It is inspiring to see artists share their creativity and culture, bringing bold colours to our streets that deepen a sense of belonging for our residents and enhance the First Nations understanding of our visitors.”
With two incredible artworks already adorning the city, the council is encouraging more First Nations artists to put in their expressions of interest for a commissioned design for one of seven further NBN node boxes located across the region.
This artwork series is just one example of the City’s strong commitment to promoting our First Nations culture, commissioning public artworks and for the region to be a cultural centre of innovation and excellence.
Head here to find out more or to get involved.