Artist in residence

In the wake of the devastating 2019–20 bushfires, Kangaroo Island people got together with Ngarrindjeri, Ramindjeri, Narungga artist, Cedric Varcoe, to weave and paint.

Over three days, more than 70 of them made individual pieces from native rushes using traditional Ramindjeri weaving methods and working in objects of significance to each of them. Cedric and a smaller group brought the individual pieces together in this true community artwork, a visual representation of its strength, resilience and interconnection. It is the first acquisition of the Art Museum of Kangaroo Island.

The weaving is now on display in the KI Business Hub, 101 Commercial Street, Kingscote (next door to Drake’s) and can be seen from the walkway outside.

How it was made:

This mural, created by 170 students, teachers and members of the community, depicts the story of Ngurunderi, ancestor of the Ngarrindjeri people, who formed this country during the time of creation. across the island are symbols representing our own story of connection to this place, because creation is an ongoing process that we all contribute to. The mural shows the journey that the spirits of Ngarrindjeri people have always and always will take, across their Ruwe (country), as they head towards their ancestors, up in the Waiyirri (stars). There they join Ngurunderi, where he sits with his canoe watching over us all. You can see him at night-time when you look up at the Milky Way. The mural is installed at the recreation centre at Parndana campus of KI Community Education.


And this is how it was made:

Photos by Sarah Kemp, Quentin Chester and Kathie Stove

This project was delivered by Smart Future Creative, in partnership with the Art Museum of Kangaroo Island, as its first artist in residence program. It is supported by funding from the Regional Arts Fund through Country Arts SA, and the State Emergency Relief Fund Community Strength and Resilience Initiative, along with valuable support by Penny and David Paton.