Left to right: Eidsvold elders, Wakka Wakka translator, Councillor Les Hotz, the four artists from Eidsvold State School, Principal Preston Parter and Poet Russell Plunkett. Photo: Kristen Camp.
Left to right: Eidsvold elders, Wakka Wakka translator, Councillor Les Hotz, the four artists from Eidsvold State School, Principal Preston Parter and Poet Russell Plunkett. Photo: Kristen Camp.

WATCH: Eidsvold art and poetry installation revealed

AN Indigenous art installation ‘My Land - My Home’ was revealed at Apex Park in Eidsvold on Thursday, November 12.

The installation brought together a poem by local poet Russell Plunket with a colourful painting by four students of Eidsvold State School of their surroundings.

The poem was also translated by Cassie Opperman to the ancient Wakka Wakka language and included within the composition.

The collaboration was made possible by $20,000 worth of funding from Arts Queensland for a Regional Arts Development Fund project, allowing artists in each North Burnett town to develop an artwork of relevance to the community in an outdoor setting.

The different versions of the poem were overlaid onto a colourful artwork created by four students from Eidsvold State School together with their art teacher Jenny.
The different versions of the poem were overlaid onto a colourful artwork created by four students from Eidsvold State School together with their art teacher Jenny.

Local poet Russell Plunkett said his poem was noticed by Eidsvold Principal Preston Parter who came up with idea to translate it into Wakka Wakka and create an accompanying artwork.

“One day I went with the council to a function and I recited this poem at the opening of the evening, it was getting a little bit of momentum for being something of value,” Mr Plunkett said.

“It was a government project to foster this, otherwise it would have never happened.”

Mr Plunkett said he believes his poem is a bridge, connecting Indigenous people to other Australians.

“Once the fire starts, a lot of people catch on,” he said.

“You need that first flame and that’s what we are.”

Taking 12 months to come to fruition, Mr Plunkett is proud of the outcome.

“With the words being in the local language and the kids with their stories, its complete, and it will be here for evermore,” Mr Plunkett said.

“To me it’s goosebump stuff because I never ever thought that my words would be translated into Wakka Wakka.”

Graphic designer Sarah Crawford was commissioned to format the wording and artwork for reproduction on outdoor quality billboard material.

Councillor Les Hotz said the project was installed in time for NAIDOC week and will help to lift the profile and knowledge of the local language.

“To the school, thank you very much for promoting that because it's so easy for us to lose the heritage of our forefathers so it's great to know that you've interpreted the poem and allowed it to live on,” Cr Hotz said.

“That’s pretty special.”


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