Celebrating First Nations: Dura Gunga Sculpture Unveiled at Maroochydore City Hall

Sunshine Coast City Hall has welcomed a striking new addition to its landscape: Dura Gunga, a 4.5-meter-tall sculptural masterpiece by Kabi Kabi artist Lyndon Davis. This monumental artwork, unveiled by Sunshine Coast Mayor Rosanna Natoli, symbolizes a significant milestone in honoring the region’s rich First Nations heritage and stands as a prominent landmark in Maroochydore CBD.

Capturing Cultural Narratives

Dura Gunga, meaning “Mullet & Sea Eagle,” intricately weaves the cultural narrative of the Kabi Kabi people into its design. It tells the profound story of the mullet hunting season and the role of the Sea Eagle in guiding the Kabi Kabi community through their sustainable practices of land stewardship.

A Tribute to Traditional Wisdom

The sculpture highlights the Kabi Kabi people’s deep understanding of natural cycles, as illustrated by their observation of the red stringy bark shedding, indicating the arrival of the Diamond Scale Sea Mullet. This symbiotic relationship between flora and fauna underscores centuries of indigenous wisdom and respect for the environment.

Artistic Mentorship and Collaboration

Under the mentorship of renowned Torres Strait Islander artist Brian Robinson, Kabi Kabi artists Lyndon Davis, Maurice Mickelo, and Hope O’Chin collaborated to conceptualize the sculpture. Davis, selected for his profound connection to the land and cultural heritage, incorporated traditional geometrical designs and patterns that pay homage to his ancestry and articulate the stories of the Kabi Kabi people.

A Gateway to Cultural Preservation

Mayor Natoli emphasized that Dura Gunga not only enriches Maroochydore’s public art landscape but also serves as a powerful testament to the enduring legacy of the Traditional Custodians of the Sunshine Coast. This landmark installation marks a pivotal moment in recognizing and celebrating First Nations culture within the broader community.

Continuing the Legacy

As visitors and residents alike engage with Dura Gunga at Sunshine Coast City Hall, they are invited to reflect on the resilience, wisdom, and cultural richness of the Kabi Kabi people. This sculpture not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the city but also fosters a deeper appreciation for indigenous artistry and environmental stewardship.

This article celebrates the unveiling of Dura Gunga as a pivotal moment in honoring and preserving the cultural heritage of the Kabi Kabi people, ensuring their stories endure for generations to come.

Source: https://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/news/new-maroochydore-landmark-celebrates-first-nations-culture

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