Two lines of Whadjuk-Noongar songs have been incorporated into Curtin University’s Bentley campus as public artwork.
Nimunburr, Yawuru, Ballardong artist, Noongar Kamsani Bin-Salleh created the artwork Winin Katidjin Bilyaa and installed it in the courtyard of the new Curtin School of Design and Built Environment Building.
The two songs were named The Kujal Kela meaning Twin Dolphin and Djiridji meaning Zamia.
The artwork responds to the songs that pass through campus, Bin-Salleh said.
“I tried to make it look like the lines were coming out from under the building, it’s like the building was put on top afterwards,” he said.
“The songs are connected all over the country, so I thought it was a good reminder that…it extends beyond that, and beyond the borders set by governments and state lines. .”
Bin-Salleh was also inspired by the pursuit of scientific knowledge.
“The inspiration was like you’re looking at a petri dish and a microscope looking at the culture in the dish and it’s kind of micro and macro,” Bin-Salleh said.
“It inspired me as if I was looking at the country through a microscope and you can see it is linked to everything.
“As you go back to the macro and it comes back to us as a people and we’re connected beyond those borders.”
As an artist, Bin-Salleh said he is proud of the shift in creative spaces where more public artists are being pushed to include First Nations stories.
“It’s so good that we’re taking the wheel of our cultural narratives,” he said.
“It’s not really about looking at it through a white lens anymore, we’re making the lens and people are looking at the world through our lens.”
Bin-Salleh’s works can be seen on Curtin University’s Bentley Campus, surrounding the School of Design and the Built Environment Building.