After completing the Jimmy Little mural on Walgett water tower, we travelled west to Brewarrina Hospital where Jenny McCracken painted this beautiful Brewarrina fish traps mural.

The mural is located in the palliative care garden. For many of the patients, this is as close as they’ll get to their beloved river again.

Brewarrina landscape mural of river with black cockatoos, kookaburras and goannasHospital staff with Artist Jenny McCracken and the completed Brewarrina Fish Traps mural

Did you know?

The Brewarrina fish traps, traditionally known as Baiame’s Ngunnhuare are estimated to be over 40,000 years old.  The Ngemba people used their knowledge of river hydrology and fish ecology to trap and catch large numbers of fresh water fish. Located on the Barwon River, it is one of the world’s oldest human made structures. Many tribes would gather to trade here thousands of years ago and the site is still significant to Aboriginal people today.

Black cockatoos give seal of approval

“During the creation of the mural we met with dialysis patients at the hospital to hear their stories of the river in order to incorporate these into the artwork” said Andi Mether, “it was really wonderful to see their eyes light up as they shared their memories.”

Jenny McCracken painted the fish traps down at the river and then added the animals the patients remembered.  The mural was painted on-site to allow patients to come and visit through out the process and have input into the placement of the pelicans, kookaburras, goanna and other animals. Once completed, we supervised installation onto the wall of the Palliative Care Gardens.

“I’d just finished painting the red tailed black cockatoos when a flock of them few over and a feather floated down to me. I took it as a very good sign”, smiled Jenny. “When the mural was complete the patients came to the garden, one lady told me she’d never seen the river look so good!  I’m very happy I’ve been able to bring the river to her and the other patients.”

Thank you to Heather Finlayson, Health Services Manager and her fantastic team and the dialysis patients that shared their stories of the river with us.

Want to use art to engage with your community? Contact us to discuss your ideas.

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