Waanyi artist Judy Watson worked in collaboration with UAP to design and deliver jugama, a significant exterior sculpture for the newly developed Susan Wakil Health Building at the University of Sydney.
The name of the work references the Gadigal word for ‘net bag’, drawing inspiration from the dilly bags of the Sydney region made by Aboriginal women from the bark of native trees. The sculpture creates a dialogue between current uses of the Susan Wakil Health Building and historical uses of the site by recognising the significant role of the dilly bag in collecting bush foods and medicine for the Gadigal people, the Traditional Owners of the land on which the work sits.
The intricate perforated form of jugama allows light to pass through, creating a natural shadow play during the day with additional internal illumination at night. Fabricated by UAP from laser cut, rolled and weathered steel, the sculpture intertwines past and present narratives to create a landmark site-specific work.
This artwork pays homage to the important role of Aboriginal women who gathered food and bush medicine to feed, nurture and heal their communities.Judy Watson, 2020
Image Credits: University of Sydney, David James & Rachel See