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Indigenous stories from bow to stern on Sydney Harbour Kayaks

Callan Morse -

Participants of Sydney Harbour Kayaks have the chance to delve intro the deep First Nations history of the harbour in two new kayaks emblazoned with Indigenous art.

The artworks featured on the kayaks were painted by Indigenous artist and curator, Tyson Frigo, whose designs are inspired by Indigenous connection to country.

Frigo said the two unique designs each hold their own individual meaning and story.

"The designs symbolize how through kayaking, like travelling in a Nawi, or via any means of travel really we are reminded to move with purpose and mindfulness with destination in mind, gentle yet direct," he said.

The first kayak, Weaver, decorated in silver and ultramarine blue, depicts a river of silver stars unfurling from a full moon down onto the water's surface where the symbols for a mother whale and her calf can be found.

Tyson Frigo painting 'Weaver'. (Image: supplied)

Inspired by the connection between the sky and the water, this kayak showcases the open and ever-expanding vastness under the stars.

Hunter, the second kayak, featuring ochre red and yellow, is inspired by the ideas of direction and focus, with the design featuring a spear raised to Grandfather sun as he walks his journey across the sky, diamonds, and curving patterns wrapping around the stern.

It includes a singular speared fish, a symbol of triumph and determination.

Managing Director of Sydney Harbour Kayaks, Shannon O'Brien, said the kayaks provide an entry point for First Nations storytelling.

"As we tour the harbour, we get a chance not only to tell contemporary stories of the harbour but we can also introduce the deep and rich First Nations history that the harbour has witnessed," Mr O'Brien said.

Tyson Frigo painting 'Hunter'. (Image: supplied)

"We view the harbour from a vantage point that Gadigal and Cammeraygal people have seen for centuries."

Australian National Maritime Museum Director and CEO, Daryl Karp, said the initiative encourages further discovery and links to the storytelling offered throughout the museum.

"This wonderful partnership with Sydney Harbour Kayaks provides us with an opportunity that connects visitors to the richness of our offering," Ms Karp said.

"The harbour's human history is millennia old and providing a chance to introduce this history to visitors is invaluable."

The two kayaks join Sydney Harbour Kayak's fleet at the museum. Bookings can be made via the Australian National Maritime Museum website.


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