Cultural and creative life

Watch: the making of Green Square artwork, Bangala

Explore the creation of 2 cast bronze Eora water carriers nestled in the wetland landscape of our aquatic centre.

Watch: the making of Green Square artwork, Bangala

Water has always defined this area. An important resource for local Aboriginal peoples, sand dunes, swamps and freshwater creeks were all part of these inner-south wetlands.

Industries that relied on water including milling, tanning and wool washing dotted much of this area in the early 1900s. The freshwater was also used in breweries and irrigated market gardens that produced vegetables for city residents.

And today, Green Square’s stunning new pool complex, just west of the town centre, remains a place of water with links back to the traditional landscape.

The Bangala artwork will connect visitors to the area’s history, traditional cultures and ties to water over time.

The 2 bronze cast bangala or Eora water carriers by Jonathan Jones and Aboriginal Elder Auntie Julie Freeman are water installations part of the new Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre.

“The baskets treat water so preciously. They remind us that water is a precious resource and the way people handled it in this beautiful object reminds us that this country has a water story, and that our responsibilities and relationship to that water story is really strong.” Artist Jonathan Jones.

Aunty Julie Freeman is a Gorawarl/Jerrawongarla traditional owner for south Sydney and the NSW south coast. She is a recognised artist, cultural leader and storyteller, with strong knowledge relating to the region’s environmental system.

Artist Jonathan Jones is a member of the Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi nations of southeast Australia and is based in Sydney. He creates site-specific installations and interventions to explore Indigenous practices, relationships and ideas.

Find out more and hear the artists in conversation.

Published 2 February 2021, updated 27 May 2021