Situated on the northern banks of the Brisbane River, the vision of Northshore is anchored by the precinct’s connection to water. With a key focus on acknowledging this stretch of river as a place of cultural significance and ceremony for traditional owners, this custom artwork is the first of a range of historical initiatives that will be incorporated into the Northshore precinct.

Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) commissioned artist Birrunga Wiradyuri of Birrunga Gallery, to design an artwork that represented the traditional use of the land and connection to the traditional owners, the Turrbal and Jagera people.

Wiradyuri man, Birrunga Wiradyuri is the founder and principal artist of the multi-award winning Birrunga Gallery, in the heart of Meanjin (Brisbane) CBD.

“When the initial enquiry is about putting a cultural artwork on the floor, there needs to be cultural consultation for us to be able to convey a story that is going to work for the space and the client with integrity and cultural congruence. In the first instance, we referred to traditional owner, Madonna Thompson,” Birrunga said.

After creating a relationship with the space, listening to it, feeling the vibe and understanding the use of the space, Birrunga was able to understand the story that needed to be told through the artwork.

“There was a sandstone reef just upriver from Hamilton where you could actually walk across the river to Bulimba. The space we are in is very close to where that reef was. Culturally, where freshwater and saltwater meet is always a place of ceremony.”

 

In describing the story behind the artwork ‘Three Circles’, Birrunga explains that the design is a story of balance.

“It is a story of balance, a story of renewal at one with the three rings, a deeply cultural and ancient story. Moving in and out of these three rings creates a conscious commitment to not just dwelling in one area. If we do that in work and community lives, we’re more effective, of more use, stay well and communicate better.”

Accompanied by two apprentice artists currently undertaking the Creative Cultural Development Program run by Birrunga, Kane Brunjes and Stevie O’Chin, were key in executing the artwork.

“Their strength as artists is in their storytelling’” he said.

“Stevie has an amazing sense of colour and uses it to denote light and shade, extraordinarily and naturally. Kane is a young man of great culture and consideration who handles himself amazingly.”

 

Officially unveiled on 1 April 2022 by EDQ’s General Manager, Debbie McNamara, Birrunga’s work encompasses contemporary indigenous culture which we seek to deliver more of within the Northshore Brisbane precinct.

Three Circles embodies an important message for the Northshore location and adorns The Shed, Northshore’s central hall.

Read more about the story of design by Birrunga, here