New welcome signage lights up the Gateway to Western Australia
The six-metre-high signs are adorned with Indigenous symbols that reflect the landscape and meaning of Wadjak Boodja.
Perth Airport Chief Commercial and Aviation Officer Kate Holsgrove said the signs will give visitors a unique welcome and an introduction to Noongar culture.
“We know that visitors to Western Australia, particularly those who have travelled from overseas, want to experience our unique Indigenous culture,” Ms Holsgrove said.
“While we have Welcome to Country signage and acknowledgments in all our terminals, these new roadside signs will make a significant first impression on visitors as they head into Perth and beyond.
“They will also serve as a lasting reminder and a farewell as they return to the airport to head home.
“We really wanted these signs to be meaningful and respectful of Indigenous traditions and culture.
“So, we’ve taken the time to listen to local Noongar people to hear their stories and understand what was important for them to be represented in the signs.
“The creative work of Cultural Consultants Ash and Jayden and Noongar artist Jarni has now brought those stories to life in a powerful way,” said Ms Holsgrove
Cultural Consultants Ash Garlett Penfold and Jayden Boundry from Ngalak Nidja said discussions with local Noongar people guided the creative process of integrating the use of language, symbolic art, and lighting to create meaningful signage.
“Inspiration is drawn from the elemental tones of the Noongar landscape, creating a natural palette with high contrast to ensure the signage compliments and do not compete with the surroundings.
“The lighting structure supports the six seasons in Noongar culture and are represented as six vibrant colours. These colours can influence how our signage can change and move with country over the course of the seasons, creating a unique, dynamic, and conversational visitor experience. The circular form connects to different aspects in Noongar Culture representing connection and coming together of people and community,” said Ash and Jayden.
Artist Jarni said that the artwork is about my Noongar people and the connections of our community and the magic it creates when we come together.
“Our culture is so unique, and I wanted to emphasise on its beauty by using symbols that move around each other to create a synergy in the piece. Each symbol, line and circle all represent something so special to this place – Wadjak Boodja,” said Jarni.
“Perth Airport sits on traditional lands of the Wadjak people of the Noongar Nation and once formed parts of their travelling networks,” continued Ms Holsgrove.
“As an airport we connect Western Australia to the rest of the world this has inspired us to showcase, celebrate and reflect the deep historical, cultural and spiritual ties that First Nations’ Australians have to this land and waterways.
“This commitment also led to us further modifying the design of Perth’s New Runway to ensure the Munday Swamp heritage site is protected and accessible for future generations of Noongar people.
“We were also the first airport in Australia to acknowledge Traditional Custodians of destinations across Australia by showing the Traditional Custodians name alongside the commonly used name of other ports at our domestic departure gates.”
Jarni was born and raised on Noongar Boodja (country); a Wadjak, Ballardong and Yued woman. She is a contemporary Noongar artist and designer.
Jarni loves bringing her traditional stories and art into the modern landscape. With her inspiration found in her culture, using my language, and listening to mob, and hearing their stories.
I believe a lot can learned from many art forms and I love sharing my culture, my way.
The six seasons inspiration for lighting pallete
Birak – Red (Dec – Jan)
The first part of the hot season. Easterly winds in the morning and then the sea breeze in the afternoons. Traditional burning would take place to stimulate germination and safe clearing of land.
Boonaroo – Orange (Feb – Mar)
The hottest period. Long, hot days and shorter nights. Easterly wind in mornings then sea breeze in the afternoons. Time for fishing and eating freshwater foods. Jarrah, marri, and white gum blooming time.
Djiran Green (Apr – May)
The temperature begins to cool down with cooler nights and mornings with winds coming from the Southwest. Rain returns and brings greenery to the environment. Birds drink the nectar as the Banksia begins to flower.
Mookaroo – Blue (Jun -Jul)
The coldest and wettest time. Noongar people begin to travel inland to shelter from wind and rain in the hills. Rivers and streams flow more. Kangaroo meat would be cooked for food and their skins made into warm cloaks.
Djilba – Pink/Purple (Aug – Sept)
The temperature has a mix of cold and clear days with warmer days more regular. The start of flowering season with beautiful flowers covering the land. Birthing season with animals welcoming their young.
Kambarang – Yellow (Oct – Nov)
The return of the warmer weather. Flowers continue to bloom and blossom throughout the land. Balga that was burnt in the hot season now flower, and Moodjar tree blooms bright orange flowers prompting Noongar people to begin moving towards the coast.
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