The Gnarojin Creek public art project ran between 2010 and 2013 and involved a series of public art projects that have revitalised the creek’s walking trail and public space.
Stage One – The Rainbow Serpent
In 2010 the finishing touches were put on the 3m tall concrete Rainbow Serpent public art sculpture that had previously been constructed along the Gnarojin Creek.
Sculpture artist Jahne Rees, Aboriginal artist Ross Storey and Narrogin community members worked together to decorate the outer shape of the sculpture, reminiscent of a Noongar shield, a seed pod and a flame. Each of the three openings in the side of the Rainbow Serpent sculpture are decorated with colourful mosaic tiles, with an outer surface of an earthy colour, highlighting local aggregates.
The group worked on-site, so other community members could wander past and join in.
Stage Two – Boomerang Seats
In 2010, CAN worked with the local Narrogin community to install three boomerang shaped seats depicting the six Noongar seasons, through a series of workshops run by artist Jahne Rees.
Fifteen young people took part in the project and learned the process of construction and installation involved in public art, as well as the flora and fauna associated with each of the Noongar Seasons.
The Noongar seasons are: Bunuru (February/March), Djeran (April/May), Makuru (June/July), Djilba (August/September), Kambarang (October/November) and Birak (December/January).
Stage Three – Narrogin Poles
In 2011 CAN partnered with NowGreen to reinvigorate a series of poles that had been originally installed along the Gnarojin creek in 1993 and 1994, as part of the Town of Narrogin’s Noongar Revival project, which cleared the area and created a new walking trail and seating.
The intricate carvings and culturally inspired paintings on the poles has given this section of the creek a new lease on life. The 2011 project was facilitated by public artist Jahne Rees, NowGreen coordinator Graeme Miller and Aboriginal artist Ross Storey.
The NowGreen participants each designed one of the poles and the project resulted in a series of vibrant poles, launched as part of the Wheat Beats event held at the Narrogin Skate Park in 2011. Participants received accreditations in Conservation and Land Management for their participation.
Stage Four: The Charrnock Woman
The Charrnock Woman project celebrates a significant Noongar site along the banks of the creek, and tells the story of the evil spirit of The Charrnock Woman from the Dreamtime.
This stage of the Gnarojin Creek public art project started in 2012, when Narrogin primary and high school students worked with digital artist Steven Aiton using sand animation, stop motion animation and blue screen technology to recreate the traditional Charrnock Woman story, written by Bibbulmun artist Toogarr Morrison.
In 2013 the Narrogin community, along with mosaic artist Danka Sholtz von Lorenz and local Noongar artist Ross Storey, designed and created mosaics inspired by the Charrnock Woman story, and their sculptural work incorporated into the animations created by the school students.
The mosaics were placed on existing rock formations along the creek and included a QR code, technology which allows visitors to scan the code with a smart phone or tablet and view the Charrnock Woman animated stories online.
The Gnarojin Creek Public Art project highlighted the significance of the Aboriginal walk trail along the Gnarojin creek held by the local Aboriginal community in Narrogin.