Greer Taylor, connect mural, installed in library at Thirroul Library and Community Centre

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This 14.4 metre long mural is installed on the northern wall of the Thirroul Library, it spans the whole width of the wall above the book shelves …


The mural tracks a timeline that tell the story of the Illawarra region from prehistory to now, a ‘storyline ribbon’ runs through it. the story begins by acknowledging the creatures that were captured during the laying down of the geological strata that form this land, influencing what it was to become. After the land was formed the first custodians occupied this land leaving their foot prints and their stories across this land, living respectfully with water, cliffs, sky, birds, creatures and plants …

before time … ngaraba-aan … under mirrabooka, the southern cross
… oolaboolawoo, the west wind, formed merrigong, the escarpment:
his daughters are jumbala (mt kembla), gheera (Mt Keira) and the five islands … ngaraba-aan

And then everything changed with the coming of a European mindset: coal was discovered in the area and the light of modernity shone forward out of the hard-hatted skulls of humans, it was the beginning of the great forgetting: forgetting the past and the earth that had made us. A train runs through the landscape, carrying coal and death, speeding past the rock pools and frogs hiding in the moist cliffs.

connect, digital design, printed direct to dibond, 120 x 1440 cm, 2010

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A pair of human hand holds a physical newspaper broadcasting local news and news from other lands bringing  further disconnection from our place, here… The original Bulli library is built, its unique doors depicted …and then we step into the digital world — a library is no longer about books, it becomes a digital hub… This section of the mural features a white egret atop a computer screen featuring the split word ‘con-nect’ with a whale’s tail in the background, fish swim in the blue and a frog sits watching… as we connect to the world. But we are reminded of nature’s power and ever presence — the magnificent fig tree outside the library and Community Center is depicted as the next iteration of a computer screen, our real connection. A huge spider web of stories supplied by local people connects to the fig tree and is guarded by a huge spider. Our solar system points us to our sun, our place, our history, our earth… The mural is bracketed by the mirrabooka : southern cross featured at the beginning and at the end of the story… reminding us of our connection to the whole of the universe.

The bottom edge of the mural is curved with cut out hand shapes — a reminder of our connection to this place.

The drawing of this took about 10 months. It is digitally printed on 6 alupanels mounted on split battens to create a sense that it is floating off the wall — it also creates a soft shadow along eth edge and the through the cut-out hands.

This was a Wollongong City Council Project.

I would like to thank:

  • Uncle Dootch Kennedy, elder and guardian of the Sandon Point Embassy for gifting me the story of oolaboolawoo, the west wind.
  • Sue Bessel for shepherding this project
  • the library staff for their support
  • Steve Crichton and DGS Mimaki for assisting with the printing
  • Steve Drolc for his thoughtful and patient assistance in preparing the mural for installation and installing the mural