New Maroochydore landmark celebrates First Nations culture

Visitors to City Hall will now be welcomed by Dura Gunga, a new sculptural artwork by Kabi Kabi artist and cultural leader Lyndon Davis.

New Maroochydore landmark celebrates First Nations culture

A new sculptural public artwork by Kabi Kabi artist and cultural leader Lyndon Davis will fittingly welcome visitors to Sunshine Coast City Hall with a story that is significant to the region’s First Nation’s people.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Rosanna Natoli unveiled the piece today (July 1), heralding it a celebration of the region’s First Nations culture and an important landmark for the Maroochydore CBD.

“The 4.5 metre tall work titled Dura Gunga (Mullet & Sea Eagle), embodies the rich cultural narrative of the Kabi Kabi people,” Mayor Natoli said.

“Public art is such a powerful medium for storytelling and cultural preservation, and this piece stands as a reminder of the enduring legacy of the Traditional Custodians of the Sunshine Coast region.

“I can’t think of a more fitting tribute, especially following the recent recognition of native title for the Kabi Kabi people.”

Dura Gunga

Dura Gunga, 4.5m public artwork sculpture at the Lightening Lane entrance of Sunshine Coast City Hall

The story of the Sea Eagle and the Mullet season is central to the piece, illustrating how the Kabi Kabi followed the hunting seasons and lived sustainably off the land.

Dura Gunga tells the story of the mullet hunting season and the guidance provided by the Sea Eagle (Gunga).

The Kabi Kabi people observed the red stringy bark's shedding to determine when the Diamond Scale Sea Mullet would be running.

This connection between the plant and the fish is a profound example of First Nations people’s understanding of nature's cycles. 

The artists

Sunshine Coast Council Senior Curator (Collections) Nina Shadforth said the new work was the outcome of a mentorship with renowned Torres Strait Islander artist and curator Brian Robinson.

“Under Brian’s guidance, Kabi Kabi artists Lyndon Davis, Maurice Mickelo and Hope O’Chin were mentored to develop a concept design for the City Hall entrance,” Ms Shadforth said.

“Each artist developed new skills in public arts that they can now apply to their own artistic practice and future public art opportunities.

“Lyndon Davis, whose art is deeply connected to the land, was selected by a panel of skilled experts to be commissioned.

“In this piece, his use of traditional geometrical designs and patterns pays homage to his cultural heritage and his ability to tell the stories of the Kabi Kabi people and region.”

Dura Gunga can be viewed at Lightning Lane, Maroochydore.

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This article New Maroochydore landmark celebrates First Nations culture has been supplied from the OurSC website and has been published here with permission.