Deborah Bonar created an acrylic painting titled, Munday Swamp, in collaboration with two other artists, Wendy Hayden and Joanna Robertson, for Cooling Brothers, a premium glass company. The artwork is featured on a 9.6 x 7.6 metre glass mural The Munday Wall in front of their premises.
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The theme of this artwork relates to the local wetlands adjacent to the Cooling Brothers building and the Aboriginal history, land use and significance of the Munday Swamp to the Beeloo Nyoongar clan.
acrylic on canvas, 150 x 120cm
By Deborah Bonar, Wendy Hayden & Joanna Robertson
This painting represents the Munday Swamp wetlands, named after a Nyoongar elder who led the Beeloo clan who hunted and camped in this area. Munday, Yagan and Midgegooroo were warriors who joined forces and fought together against the Wadjula. They were declared outlaws and they had bounties placed on their heads in 1833. Yagan and Midgegooroo were killed, but Munday survived. He appealed and the bounty was later withdrawn.
The wetlands and the woodlands around Munday Swamp had plenty of birds, animals, plants and trees. There were turtles, ducks, yabbies, frogs, wallabies, goanna and possum. There were banksias, wattles, paperbarks, gum trees and jarrah. Chips of quartz used by the Beeloo clan are still scattered around the site.
In the painting, the background colours of rich greens and blues represent the wetlands. The largest circular shape is Munday Swamp. The brown and white patterns within this circle represent reeds.
The red oval shape at the bottom left of the painting which contains one large and several small clusters of blue is where the people camped. Directly above this is a smaller oval which represents the gathering place of the people.
The small blue-grey shapes are chips of quartz. The fine dots or “jewels” scattered throughout the painting symbolise the local people.
Artists Deborah Bonar, Wendy Hayden and Joanna Robertson at the unveilling of the Munday Wall on 8 Febuary 2012.
Deborah Bonar operates Scribblebark Design from her home art studio. She is an award winning Perth based artist with Gija and Yamatji heritage who specialises in vibrant acrylic and ochre paintings.
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