Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade Aboriginal Art Trail
Balarinji is accepting expressions of interest from locally connected Aboriginal artists who would like to be involved in developing artwork that depicts stories from Gumbaynggirr, Yaegl and Bundjalung narratives.
The Woolgoolga to Ballina (W2B) project is Australia’s largest regional infrastructure project and will duplicate 155 kilometres of the Pacific Highway. The project starts six kilometres north of Woolgoolga and ends six kilometres south of Ballina passing through Gumbaynggirr, Yaegl and Bundjalung Nations.
As part of the W2B project, Transport for NSW has engaged Balarinji, a leading Aboriginal-owned strategy and design agency, to work with key Aboriginal stakeholders including local Aboriginal Elders, Aboriginal knowledge holders and Aboriginal artists to develop concept artwork for the W2B Aboriginal Art Trail. The Art Trail is a vision to tell the stories of the ancient travel routes (Songlines) and creation of stories that have been around long before the Pacific Highway.
Artwork is planned for 13 locations, including rest areas and bridge safety screens between Woolgoolga and Ballina. Balarinji will be working collaboratively with Gumbaynggirr, Yaegl and Bundjalung Aboriginal key stakeholders to facilitate the local story telling. The co-design process directly involves the local Aboriginal community in collecting the site’s narrative, as well as in the artistic and interpretive expression of the narrative within the project. This approach allows for a deeply connected and authentic response to place by local artists and creative practitioners. It places local Aboriginal Elders and Knowledge Holders at the centre of decision-making.
In consultation with the key stakeholders, Balarinji will engage up to ten locally connected Aboriginal artists to develop the concept artwork that depicts these stories. This is an opportunity for local artists to showcase their work, gain experience, build their skills and be mentored by an Aboriginal business with an excellent national and international reputation. Artists selected will be paid for their time and the artwork they develop.