Throughout March and April at UTS, Bidjigal artist Steven Russell will be burning traditional and contemporary designs onto the wooden planter boxes of Waraburra Nura garden. UTS staff and students are invited to partake in this process, where they will learn how to use burning irons to render designs in wood and gain cultural understanding of mark making and its relevance to local Indigenous communities.
All day drop in sessions will be held at Waraburra Nura on the following days:
Thursday 27 March from 11am (Indigenous staff and students only, info and bookings below)
Thursday 28 March 10am – 4pm
Tuesday 2 April 10am – 4pm
Wednesday 10 April 10am – 4pm
Tuesday 16 April 10am – 4pm
About Steven Russell
La Perouse born Bidjigal artist Steven Russell is an accomplished designer, sculptor, weaver and painter who draws on his knowledge of local Indigenous stories and techniques. He is the grandson and great, great grandson of acclaimed shell artists Esme Timbery and ‘Queen’ Emma Timbery.
Indigenous staff and students
Indigenous staff and students are invited to a morning tea from 11am Thursday 27 March at Waraburra Nura garden to contribute their own designs to be burnt onto the wood of the Waraburra Nura garden. Uncle Steven is asking staff and students to create designs that represent personal identity and connections to Country. By incorporating these together on the wood of the garden beds he will create a track of designs that represent the diversity of Indigenous voices and culture at UTS.
Connecting to Country
This project accompanies a rehang of works from the UTS Art Collection that explore First Nations Australian’s connection to Country.
The works from the UTS Art Collection depict different aspects of Country by artists living and working across Australia in urban, regional and remote locations. For First Nation Australians, Country is an all-encompassing word for the place a person has ancestral connection to, which includes the environment, climate, laws and cultural knowledges of that place.
Australia has over 500 Indigenous nations situated on as many Countries, while UTS is situated on Gadigal Country (Gadi Nura).
On the external balcony, the Waraburra Nura garden provides us with a means to connect to Gadi Nura through local plants, language and designs burnt onto wood.
The garden reflects Indigenous agricultural practices, cultivated over thousands of generations to increase the potency of medicines and foods.