Freo-made

• Artists Greg James, Ivo (Ivan) Zuvela and Janet Nixon with Gaywal in Busselton.

GREG JAMES and his team of Fremantle artists at the J Shed have produced a stunning sculpture of an Aboriginal leader for Busselton council.

Gaywal, a leader from the time of settlement, was recently unveiled in Busselton as part of the city’s ‘Settlement Art Project’.

Mr James, a renowned sculptor, says “this is Gaywal as the traditional owner of this land just being himself – he has been fishing and living a traditional lifestyle in his own county.

Leader

“We all need to understand that he was here and that this was his country.

“I guess, the intention is to be as true as possible based on the info that I have, from the mullet he is carrying, and the type of gidgees used for fishing.

“From what I understand he is the leader of his people and I have aimed to give him that countenance.

“In lots of ways it’s a sad story but perhaps his innate strength lives on.

“My brief for whole project is to represent the people of Busselton at the time of settlement, not after.

“History continues and maybe this will encourage a better understanding.

“Thanks to the Wardandi [descendants] of Gaywal who graciously shared their knowledge to help us create this work in recognition of the traditional owners of this land.”

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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