Larnankurrk (Seven Sisters): A Story in the Stars, 2018 buff raku trachyte, underglaze,ochre,salt,box wood dimensions variable.
Jackie Wirramanda is a ceramicist, weaver, wood carver and painter. Her works employ both contemporary and traditional forms to convey the spiritual, cultural and ecological richness of her Country.
Wirramanda presents Larnankurrk (Seven Sisters): A Story in the Stars, 2018. Titled in the language of the Wergaia, this work recalls a culturally significant story of the Boorong Peoples, contained within the constellation known as the Pleiades or Seven Sisters.
This story is embedded in and around the largest salt lake in Victoria., known as Lake Tyrrell. A unique, shallow salt-crusted depression, the lake lies within an hour drive of Wirramanda's home: imbued with the history, lore and traditions of its people.Hand built with buff raku, seven vessels resembling the traditional coolamon stand in for each of the Seven Sisters. According to the story the sisters drummed on the possum skins stretched across their laps and sang for the dancing young men, represented in the sky by Kulkunbulla (stars in the belt and scabbard of Orion).
The men clashed their boomerangs in time to the women's chanting. Each woman bears her own distinct markings, conveying her individually. Viewed together, the coolamons express the group's collective strength, the geometric and linear designs frame each figure, celebrating the connectivity of all women.
Coolamens are traditionally shaped and moulded from the bark or knot of a hardwood tree. Still used today, their primary purpose is to hold and carry items, such as water, babies or collected foods. They are also a valuable tool for holding fire during ceremonial smoking. The symbol of the coolamon pertains to the carrying and safekeeping of important star lore. In the same way that food, sustenance and nourishment are offered from this vessel, so too are the spiritual knowings of the Wergaia.
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