We acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land and pay respect to their leaders, past and present. Visitors to this website should be aware that names may be mentioned, or images portrayed, of people who are now deceased. Any distress this may cause is sincerely regretted.
Judy Watson's fire and water is a sensorial journey which begins at the hearthstone, passes between the bower, to rest on and listen to the sounds of the gathering stone, and continues among the sinuous lines of reeds toward the misting pool, where fine sprays of cooling water cleanse and refresh.
The hearthstone recalls the large flat Yuriarra Moth Stone upon which fires were lit. When the surface was hot enough, the bogong moths were shaken out of the dilly bags in which they had been gathered and cooked. All of the people would come together to share and feast upon this rich cultural resource.
The sides of the bower bend-in towards each other in a gesture of Reconciliation, like two hands cupping the distance between them. The blackened weathered steel elements form a listening, sheltering space and speak of recent and ancient fires.
The bronze gathering stone embraced within the bower emanates sound through its pores, which increases and decreases in intensity. Michael Hewes' sound design suggests both the congregation of bogong moths flying in on their annual migration to the high country and the gathering of people coming together to feast on them.
Judy Watson is an artist whose Indigenous matrilineal family is from country in
north-west Queensland. She has exhibited widely, including co-representing Australia at the 1997 Venice Biennale, and she was the recipient of the 2006 Clemenger Contemporary Art Award of the National Gallery of Victoria. She was one of eight Indigenous Australian artists whose work was incorporated into the Musee du Quai Branly, Paris, in 2006.
Artist: Judy Watson
Sound Design: Michael Hewes
Cultural Advisor: Matilda House
Yuriarra Moth Stone
The Yuriarra moth cooking stone at Uriarra Station was the base camp in ancestral times for the annual ceremonial Ngambri trek from Gudgenby to the Bogong Mountains to catch bogong (gori) moths. The ceremony brought together groups of Aboriginal people to hunt and gather, and to renew their relationships. Friends and foes alike would put aside their differences.
As the traditional custodians of the Bogong Mountains, the Ngambri and their kin group, the Ngurmal, hosted the ceremony. Women always took charge of the base camp and prepared the moths.
The Yuriarra moth cooking stone site has high scientific, aesthetic, historical and social significance for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples.
Matilda House - Ngambri
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Acknowledgement of Country
Our work is on the land of the Ngunnawal People, Ngunnawal Country. We pay our respects to their Elders – past, present and emerging.