This work (alongside Kooyang, the Australian short finned eel) is a keystone element of Trove, representing the pre-invasion landscape and contemporary indigenous culture and Country of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people of the Kulin Nation.
The bronze Waa on Wellington Street, depicts the ancestral crow of the Wurundjeri people. In the Kulin Nation in central Victoria Waa is regarded as one of two moiety ancestors, the other being Bunjil the eaglehawk.
Waa is a trickster, known for his cunning and intelligence who in the Dreamtime brought fire to mankind when he stole a hot coal from the secretly guarded fire of the seven Karatgurk women who lived by the Yarra River where Melbourne now stands.
I take this opportunity to acknowledge that I live, work and made this artwork on the lands of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people. I am thankful for what I have learned in the process and pay my respects to their Elders past present and future and to all First Nations People.
Whilst the other 12 bronzes are replicas of inanimate objects that point to historical or cultural stories that form Collingwood’s unique identity, Waa and Kooyang are presented as organic living entities that acknowledge the First Nations People as the custodians of the lands now known as Collingwood. Always was, always will be.
Waa was conceived and developed in close consultation with the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and I thank Aunties Julieanne Axford and Gail Smith for their guidance and support.