Cumbungi/bullrush, Typha domingensis and orientalis
Artists: Aunty Kim Wandin (Wurundjeri) and Chris Joy, of Murrup Biik Public Art
Media: Stainless Steel, Aluminium and Lomandra
Location: Poyner Reserve, Lilydale
Coordinates: View Map
The sculpture Bour-deet is part of Art and Sole, a project providing the community with opportunities to explore, connect and move around Lilydale West through wayfinding signs and this feature public artwork.
The title “Bour-deet”, is the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung name for the plant we commonly recognise in our waterways, as Cumbungi or Bullrush, Latin names Typha domingensis and orientalis.
The Artists: Aunty Kim Wandin and Chris Joy work together to create experiences that invite you to connect with the layers of Country, and that are designed to embrace and nurture through the various qualities of Country.
Bour-deet provided a staple food for Aboriginal people of South-eastern Victoria. The valuable starch found in tubers can be baked into bread, and the root can be eaten fresh when tender. Bour-deet leaves and roots provide fibre for bilang (string and bags).
At Coranderrk, Bour-deet would have been an important source of fibre for the basket-making industry run by the Aboriginal women, and which generated important funds into the community.
This sculpture honours the women of Coranderrk and especially Granny Jemima Wandin, Aunty Kim’s great grandmother, who was not only a master-weaver, but an ambassador, negotiating actively for the rights of her community.
As a riparian plant Bour-deet filters and cleans water as it flows along creeks and rivers. In this waterway through the industrial estate, you can see how Bour-deet and the common reed (Phragmites) are growing.
Active observations of our plant species help give us greater knowledge and respect for all things Country.
The designs on the sculpture, Bour-deet, are symbolic of Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Bagurrk (women) moving across Biik (Country) to gather Bour-deet (cumbungi) to weave together binak (baskets) and bilang (string bags). These designs also reference William Barak’s artworks.
Aunty Kim dedicates this work to her Nana Ollie and Granny Jemima who passed their weaving knowledge onto her.
Bour-deet is located at the East end of Poyner Reserve, Lilydale, nearby to the creek. At the opposite end of the park, you will find a wayfinding sign with a map of local walks.
Art and Sole is a VicHealth funded joint project between Yarra Ranges Council, Inspiro and key community stakeholders, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Aboriginal Corporation and the Lilydale Historical Society.