#Waanginy Boorna - Message Stick
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.
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