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Lie of the Land: universal symbols of home

G S Kingston Park / Wirrarninthi (Park 23)

photo-icon "Lie of the Land" by Aleks Danko and Jude Walton
photo-icon George Strickland Kingston

This sculpture, designed by artists Aleks Danko and Jude Walton, dates to 2004 and features on both sides of Sir Donald Bradman Drive. Commissioned by the South Australian Government through Arts SA, with assistance from Adelaide City Council, the sculpture celebrates the Centenary of Federation in 2001.

The artists say:

“These simple stone forms act as universal symbols of home. They are the same but different, each one hand-made and unique. They celebrate the diverse people, languages and cultures that have shaped Australian society, and our natural and built form, while acknowledging the right of everyone to a place called home. They mark indigenous guardianship of the land, and say what has been left unsaid, admitting to the lie of terra nullius ‘territory of no-one’. The work invites you to reflect on the rich cultural traditions and interwoven histories of this country.”

The artwork features Kanmantoo stone, granitised sand and black mallee box, and visually unites the land of Wirrarninthi and Tampawardli which has been divided by Sir Donald Bradman Drive.

The Kaurna People are the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the Adelaide Plains.

Wirrarninthi (Park 23) (southern side) and Tampawardli (Park 24) (northern side) are the names of these Parks which are part of the Park Lands. Wirrarninthi and Tampawardli are words from the Kaurna language, which was last spoken on a daily basis in the 1860s. In recent times the language has been revived.

Wirrarninthi means 'to become transformed into a green, forested area' and the Park has been revegetated with native vegetation and protected indigenous flora.

Tampawardli means 'home on the plains'. The name derives from ‘tampa’ – plain and ‘wardli’ – home. It is the name recorded by the Kaurna people for Emigration Square which was in the area behind where Adelaide High School now stands. When Adelaide’s early settlers arrived in the new colony between 1837 and 1849, they were first housed at this temporary facility.

City of Adelaide acknowledges the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today. We also extend that respect to other Aboriginal Language Groups and other First Nations.

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