Connection to Country

Artwork: Water is Life (2020)

Honouring the waterways that her ancestors have travelled for thousands of years, Quandamooka artist Elisa Jane Carmichael explores connection to place, people and culture in this installation at Riverside Green, South Bank. 

Water is Life, represents a stream flowing into the nearby Brisbane River, with dilly bags soaking local food sources for days to cleanse them of their toxins.

Water is Life was made using carved Australian Juparana granite and cast concrete.

Artwork: A place where we gather (2022)

Story: A collaboration between local indigenous and proud descendant from Gamilaroi, Stephen Hogarth and proud Kabi Kabi, Gooreng Gooreng, South Sea Island Welsh woman, Silvia Jones-Terare, this artwork is a representation of both their heritages, and the rich history of South Bank.

The design features local flora and fauna that have inhabited the South Bank area for many generations. The three circles and U shapes around them represent the traditional owners and their spiritual and physical connection with South Bank as a central and shared place for bush tucker, ceremony, weaving and hunting for animals.

The Brisbane River, waterways and meeting places along the way feature strongly in the artwork showing the places many people and families visit and enjoy for celebrations.

South Bank is the green heart of the city and the artists have chosen to represent some of the local flora, including the beautiful fan palms, cunjevoi and blue flax lily, as well as the animal tracks of the stone curlews who are residents of the Parklands.  

Stephen and Silvia’s use of bright colours celebrates and complements the greens of the landscape, the blue of the waterways and the brown for the land.

A place where we gather - Q&A with artists Stephen & Silvia: