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New Coolamon Sculpture Launched at Federation Park in Gumeracha

In a celebration of heritage and community collaboration, a striking new sculpture titled the 'Coolamon Sculpture' has been unveiled at Federation Park in Gumeracha.

Gumeracha Coolamon Sculpture Launch

New Coolamon Sculpture Launched at Federation Park in Gumeracha

In a celebration of heritage and community collaboration, a striking new sculpture titled the 'Coolamon Sculpture' has been unveiled at Federation Park in Gumeracha.

The sculpture, inspired by Gumeracha’s Aboriginal heritage, pays homage to the historical encounter between settler William Randell and the local Aboriginal community, as recorded in his diary.

The concept for the sculpture emerged from the community's desire to honor this significant historical event. Inspired by the traditional wooden vessel known as a coolamon, Aboriginal artist Maryanne Norton (nee Hill), a Noongar woman from Western Australia, was commissioned to bring the vision to life.

Traditionally used for carrying water, food, fire, and newborn infants, the coolamon holds deep cultural significance. Maryanne Norton's interpretation of the coolamon in sculpture form symbolizes the flow of energy and life, reflecting both the Aboriginal origins and settlement of Gumeracha.

Constructed using wood from a large red gum tree that fell during a storm, the sculpture was crafted with the help of the local community. Initially working from a space provided at Gumeracha Primary School, Norton collaborated with children who made use of wood offcuts, while a specially constructed trolley from the Green Shed facilitated the process. Later stages of the sculpture's creation took place at the artist's home in Lobethal.

Following its completion, the sculpture was donated to the Adelaide Hills Council by the community of Gumeracha and installed in Federation Park. The location was chosen for its proximity to the creek, enhancing the sculpture's connection with water, and providing a serene setting for reflection and contemplation.

This location specifically was chosen to be somewhere a person could come and learn about the history of Aboriginal culture here in Gumeracha and have some time to contemplate and reflect on the meaning of the sculpture.

It provides an opportunity for people to learn about both aspects of history.

This place has been very important to Aboriginal people for many thousands of years and it has also been important for the current Gumeracha community for almost two centuries.

— Deputy Mayor Nathan Daniell

The success of the project is attributed to the collaborative efforts of various community groups, including the Medieval Fair Committee, Lions Club of Torrens Valley, Gumeracha Community Association, Gumeracha Town Hall Committee, and Celebrations Committee, who collectively funded and supported the initiative.

The community extends its gratitude to key individuals involved in bringing the 'Coolamon Sculpture' to fruition, including Maryanne Norton, Kahan Norton, Michel and Dusty Gray, and Bob Brooksby.

The unveiling of the 'Coolamon Sculpture' marks a significant milestone for Gumeracha, adding a graceful and evocative piece of art to Federation Park, enriching the cultural landscape of the Adelaide Hills region.

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