Un[contained] Festival

Wiradjuri Artist, Darren Charlwood was invited to participate in the Un[contained] Arts Festival by Georges River Council. Darren created a mural titled ‘Dhalawala’, which was painted live over the course of the festival. Dhalawala is a Wiradjuri word meaning ‘forested country’, which is an accurate description of the George’s River area.

The completed mural measures six metres wide by two metres high, and shows an intricate map of snaking lines in blues and greens, with landscape features and significant sites market out by red lines and symbols. The mural resembles a topographic map with interconnected elements accentuated by the way the lines worth with and around each other in a seething, almost pulsating mass of shape and colour. The meandering lines are reminiscent of watercourses or animal tracks that weave and wind through landscape.

Artist Darren explains the inspiration behind his work: Maps and landscape are a recurring subject in my cultural arts practice as they are in fact the basis of Indigenous identity, language, culture and art. I was taught a long time ago that language was born from Country. People read their language in their landscape. The George’s River, Kogarah, is Dharug language and on the other side of the river is Dharawal language. I wish to respectfully acknowledge the people of this landscape in this mural which I’m calling Dhalawala.

Hurstville Museum & Gallery is committed to supporting artists and bringing new creative experiences to the local community. The Un[contained] Arts Festival aims to expand and challenge the ideas of what ‘art’ is – breaking it free of a traditional gallery space and letting it take over the streets of the Georges River area.

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