Wurundjeri artists bringing creativity and knowledge to public spaces 

WORDS Sarah Stewart | PHOTOGRAPHY Bek Smith

Down by the Brungergalk (Watts River) waterway in Healesville, Aunty Kim Wandin and her son Lewis Wandin-Bursill are chatting to me about art, awards, ancestry and the personal satisfaction in creativity. It might sound like a big conversation, but it meanders gently along from one topic to another just as easily as the nearby river.

As we walk from the Community Garden on River Street across to the small tributary off Brungergalk, we chat and make stops along the way; both Aunty Kim and Lewis have artworks installed here. Lewis’s piece, Wurun Carving, is part of the Efemera art installation; Aunty Kim’s work, iuk trap (eel trap), was commissioned through Art Attack and the Yarra Ranges Council. We pause inside the Community Garden first, to view Lewis’s handmade Wurun (manna gum) rounds. Made in collaboration with friend and artist Ryan Tews, they will be hung in the garden, as identifiers in the Woi-wurrung language. Aunty Kim has also constructed a Bunjil nest here, woven into being by her deft basket-weaving hands. It sits poised, a serene custodian, at the front of the garden.