26 September 2023

Perth public artwork a fine place of healing

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A new public artwork acknowledging the Stolen Generations has been officially opened in Perth’s Wellington Square.

Created by artist Sandra Hill (pictured), an Elder and Custodian of the Wadandi (salt water) people, Mia Mias is a dedicated place of healing in the north-west corner of the square.

Ms Hill said the artwork featured a central beacon incorporating the male and female feathers of the red-tailed black cockatoo (Kaarak), surrounded by five traditional dwellings (mia mias).

She said to finalise the work, the footprints of her grandchildren were cemented into the concrete.

Lord Mayor of the City of Perth, Basil Zempilas said the city was proud to see the significant artwork come to fruition after careful consultation with Western Australia’s Aboriginal community.

“Wellington Square represents cultural and spiritual significance for Nyoongar people, linking the past and the present, and we couldn’t be more delighted to see this artwork tell a powerful and poignant story for all members of the community,” Mr Zempilas said.

Ms Hill said as a member of the Stolen Generations, she understood the grief, loss and heartbreak the community continued to experience.

“I understand what it’s like to survive that experience and the things that you hold forever in your heart,” she said.

“I understand what needs to be said through art.

“My whole public art career has been moving towards this moment in time.

“The whole meaning is about bringing them home.

“This is the most important work that I have ever done over the last 30 years.”

Mr Zempilas said the City of Perth had worked closely with Yokai, Bringing Them Home Committee WA and the broader Aboriginal community to commission the important public artwork.

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