Celebrating Indigenous heritage

Local Dja Dja Wurrung woman Daikota Nelson has begun creating a public mural in Castlemaine, telling the Indigenous story of the local area's Two Feuding Volcanoes. Photo: Eve Lamb

Eve Lamb

The Aboriginal story of two local landmarks is being recorded and shared via a new public mural being created by local Indigenous artist Daikota Nelson.

Castlemaine business Cream Town has commissioned the Dja Dja Wurrung woman to create the new mural to adorn an otherwise nondescript corrugated iron wall lining its courtyard and fronting onto Hunter Street.

The local cafe and arts hub venue received a grant from the Regional Arts Victoria Relief Fund enabling the outdoor artwork which, when complete, will measure about 15 x 2 metres.

On site, Daikota told the Express that when it was finished the new artwork would tell the Dja Dja Wurrung story of the Two Feuding Volcanoes – Mount Tarrengower at Maldon and Mount Franklin near Daylesford.

“It definitely gives you a sense of being very proud of your bloodline and your culture,” says Daikota, who also works as a Parks ranger.

“I feel there’s so much to offer in terms of sharing culture and knowledge and stories that I’ve been lucky enough to learn.”

The wall surface onto which Daikota is painting her design is corrugated iron, which poses a few practical challenges.

“It’s easier to paint down than sideways,” she laughs, also noting that she’s already been through a few paint brushes in the creative process.

“But the paint is made to last,” she says.

“It’s been a great experience so far.

“The customers stop and chat and get to know a bit about what it’s about. I cannot wait to see the final product.”

At this stage it’s still fairly early days in creation of the mural that’s scheduled for completion by the end of March.

Cream Town’s Pearl Doherty said the decision to commission the work was a means to celebrate the area’s Aboriginal heritage.

“Daikota’s work is really beautiful and refreshing. It’s going to uplift that space, which was just a wall,” she said.