Barry McGuire

Barry McGuire

#Waanginy Boorna - Message Stick

PERTH, AUSTRALIA

Respected Indigenous artist Barry McGuire collaborated with UAP and FORM to develop and fabricate Waanginy Boorna — Message Stick, a richly symbolic sculpture for Perth’s Optus Stadium in Western Australia. Barry McGuire is a Balladong, Yued, Wadjuk, Pinjarred Noongar who is highly regarded as a visual and performing artist, leader and mentor in his community. In this work, the artist has up-scaled the form of the message stick traditionally used to invite nations together. McGuire is the custodian of this living artefact which is believed to pre-date colonial settlement in Australia.

Standing at 4.2metres tall and fabricated in cast bronze with patina finish, the sculpture’s tactile surface texture is directly influenced by the original artefact. Illuminated by internal lighting at night, the work creates a sense of warmth, ceremony and welcome. The resulting work is a meaningful iconic totem for the new stadium, inviting all nations together to celebrate whilst honouring the significance of the Wadjuk nation and
its living culture.

The Message stick was sent out into the country by the hand of a runner… This message was an invitation to all the nations to attend a great Waarna (ceremony). A message for all people to come together in one place, at one time for a ceremony; a gathering for all to share!

Barry McGuire

Image credits: Bewley Shaylor, Taryn Hays (courtesy of FORM), Roger D'Souza, Rachel See

#Project summary

Creative

Barry McGuire

Artwork Title

Waanginy Boorna - Message Stick

Project

Optus Stadium

Client

Brookfield Multiplex

Year

2018

Location

Perth, Australia

Build

UAP

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