Where Lost History Buried Sleeps

Artist: Errol Fielder, Casey Ankers, Alex Mitrovic, Raelene Pfeiffer
Title: Where Lost History Buried Sleeps
Installed: 2000
Materials: Glass, ceramics and metal
Location: Wagga Wagga Civic Precinct, adjacent to the Baylis Street bridge

This Wollundry Amphitheatre mural features Wollundry Lagoon animals described in Dame Mary Gilmore’s poem “The Wollundry Lagoon”. The animals were hand drawn by local schoolchildren from Wagga Wagga Public School, Kooringal High School and home schooled students from the district and made into artworks by local glass, metals and ceramic artists.  Some of the animals still inhabit the Wollundry Lagoon and the nearby Murrumbidgee River.

The animals depicted in clear glaze on the tiles are the Brolga, the Wombat, the Hare Wallaby, the Swamp Wallaby, the Bilby, the Numbat and the Koala.

The animals depicted in opaque glaze are the Sugar Glider, the Black Swan, the Bogong Moth, the Book Book Owl, the Lace Monitor, the Giant Banjo Frog and the Water Hen.

The animals depicted in metal and glass are the Platypus, the Ibis, the Ring-tailed Possum, the Eel, the Water Bug, the Echidna, the Yabby, the Gecko, the Shingle-back Lizard, the Yellow-Belly fish, the Black Snake, the Long Neck Turtle, the Water Rat, the Black Duck and the Goose.

The images cut into the matrix of the tile grid are those of expanded and stylised representation of Wollundry Lagoon and the Murrumbidgee River.

The artists attributed to the work:

Casey Ankers – Metal work

Errol Fielder – Design and ceramics

Alex Mitrovich – Glass

Raelene Pfeiffer - Graphics

Errol Fielder wrote of this work,

“All the materials used to create this mural were born out of fire. They will endure longer because of their gestation in the furnace. All the creatures that these materials represent once inhabited this area and some still do. They were abundant and in balance with the environment in both numbers and species, and their existence here was, in part sustained by fire.

By selectively burning off the vegetation the Wiradjuri people, the original inhabitants of this area, would promote new growth for the animals to browse and graze. This would conserve the animals and make them easier to hunt. Wollundry Lagoon and its environs were used as a repository for game. The Wiradjuri people would meet here and at various other locations in the vicinity for feasting and celebrations.”

This project was created through funds provided by The Centenary of Federation Fund. The Australian Government in 1998 – 1999 granted $1.4 million to Council for the creation of an amphitheatre on the banks of Wollundry Lagoon. The mural is part of this project.