Jobs Events Advertise

Noongar story of the Australian Christmas tree on display in Perth

Rhiannon Clarke -

An art installation in the heart of Perth is showcasing the Noongar story of the Australian Christmas tree.

Lighting up the outbacks of Western Australian bush are the vibrant orange blooms of the Moodjar Tree.

The story, which has been handed down from one Noongar generation to another, has been vividly portrayed at Yagan Square as a significant component of the City of Perth's Christmas Lights Trail.

The video installation employs 3D animation to submerge spectators into the narrative of the cherished WA tree, known for its blossoming during the Noongar season of Birak.

The tree, scientifically named Nuytsia floribunda, is a common sight during the summer months in the south-west region of Western Australia.

Noongar singer-songwriter, Phil Walley-Stack, narrated the story and composed the music for the installation, saying he had a strong cultural connection to the tree.

The Moodjar tree can be found in the outback of Western Australia. (Image: Chris Lewis/ABC Midwest and Wheatbelt)

"When we pass away as Noongar people, our spirit goes into that tree throughout the year," Mr Walley-Stack said, via the ABC.

"This time of year, when it blossoms and you see that bright orange flower comes through, it's releasing our spirit."

Mr Walley-Stack said the story of the tree was shared with project organisers by his aunty, Rose Walley.

He emphasised the significance of sharing the cultural importance of the tree, with his eight-year-old daughter Kara assisting in narrating the story.

"To be able to explain to someone without any spiritual connection, without any spiritual belief about this tree … but then also having my daughter a part of it as well, it's very important for us," he said.

"Because when I was a little fella, you never had this technology to pass on your culture and stories … and you always get scared that you're going to lose the stories.

"To be able to explain to someone without any spiritual connection, without any spiritual belief about this tree … but then also having my daughter a part of it as well, it's very important for us.

"Because when I was a little fella, you never had this technology to pass on your culture and stories … and you always get scared that you're going to lose the stories.

"When you lose the stories, you lose your connection and your family connection to a place."

Indigenous artist Biara Martin, who has ancestral connections to the Balladong, Binjarep, Widi, Ballaruk, and Budimia tribes artwork also features.

The story of the Moodjar Tree is already catching the eyes of On lookers

(Image: Alicia Bridge/ABC Radio Perth)

Ms Martin portrays a three-dimensional kangaroo, lizards, and galahs in her digital interpretation of the Dreamtime story, with Lux Events adding mesmerising visual effects to enhance the storytelling experience.

Ms Martin's cultural ties to the Moodjar story, passed down through her grandmother, further enrich the narrative.

"I find that very special to be able to still connect with her through her stories … it's quite beautiful to see," she said, according to the ABC.

"The culture … my grandmother and the art around it, representing the Aboriginal culture in Perth.

During her recent visit, Ms Martin expressed her delight in witnessing onlookers pausing to capture photographs of the exhibit.

"It's something quite mind-blowing … the 3D look about it," she said.

"The pictures are quite vibrant and the way it lights up the whole area, and to have the native animals and plants and just for it to be so alive, and lifelike.

The Moodjar Tree is on display at Yagan Square from 6pm every night until January 2, 2024.

   Related   

Hip-hop heroes bring old-school love to Block Party
Ever-expanding circles of inclusion have been the hallmarks of the five Perth Festivals delivered by outgoing artistic director...
David Prestipino 29 Feb 2024
Sydney Comedy Festival returns this April with an all-star cast of Indigenous comedians
The Sydney Comedy Festival has unveiled additional acts for the 2024 edition, scheduled from April 22 to May 19. The festivitie...
Joseph Guenzler 29 Feb 2024
First Nations artist Janelle Burger collaborates with Canva for new Women In Gaming illustrations
Celebrated for her unique artworks across several mediums, Australian-born, Paris-based Noongar/ Sicilian artist Janelle Burger...
Phoebe Blogg 28 Feb 2024
SHE DIRECTS - new program aims to boost First Nations women filmmakers
SHE DIRECTS, an intensive three-day directors lab aimed specifically at early to mid-career First Nations women from across Aust...
Giovanni Torre 28 Feb 2024

   Rhiannon Clarke   

Manjaree ‘Bathers Beach’ Truth Telling program delves into the history of Fremantle
The city of Fremantle will hold a new truth telling program at the historic Whadjuk Noongar site of Manjaree, Bathers Beach.  M...
Rhiannon Clarke 1 Mar 2024
Glass Jar Australia welcomes Sophie Coffin to board of directors
Sophie Coffin is the newest addition to the board of directors at Glass Jar Australia, the organisation behind the influential S...
Rhiannon Clarke 28 Feb 2024
Dan Sultan releases signed, limited edition vinyl celebrating decade anniversary of award-winning album
Arrernte/Gurindji singer-songwriter Dan Sultan has celebrated 10 years of his ARIA award-winning album Blackbird by releasing a...
Rhiannon Clarke 28 Feb 2024
Thomas Weatherall’s play “Blue” explores the complexities of coming-of-age
The captivating play “Blue” delves into the complexities of a coming-of-age narrative, exploring themes of family dynamics, masc...
Rhiannon Clarke 20 Feb 2024