In early 2021, The University of Sydney launched its new Indigenous strategy, One Sydney, Many People 2021-2024 Strategy, which aims to support the best researchers and most promising students to achieve their full potential.
33 Creative were engaged to support the photography, design, layout and copywriting to bring the strategy to life and maximise engagement across all faculties and aspects of university business.
A key component of the visual design was developing a unique artwork that represents the pillars of the strategy and strong connection of the University to Country.
Commissioned artwork and interpretation
We worked with artist and friend of 33 Creative, Luke Penrith with ancestry connected through the Wiradjuri, Wotjobaluk, the Yuin and the Gumbaynggirr Nation.
The commissioned artwork titled ‘Yanhambabirra Burambabirra Yalbailinya’ depicts a rich interconnected story of knowledge, community and growth, reflecting the history and future aspiration of the University. At the centre of the artwork is the Gadi (of the Xanthorrea genus), found on the grounds of the University campus and acknowledges our location in the heart of Gadigal country.
The central flowering bud reaches out with its orange ochre heartbeat and travels to the four pillars present in our strategy: Nguragaingun – Culture and Community (base); Eora – People (top); Ngara – Education and Research (right) and Pemulian – Environment (left). The heartbeat continues on to form four fire circles, each signifying a season of the year, and further to create two waves of knowledge corners (top right and base left).
The fire and flame motif links to the desire to share knowledge and to prosper along the journey.
The four coolamons support this journey through nurturing, sharing and nourishing that is required along the way. On two of the coolamons are clapsticks, representing welcoming with song, finding food with digging sticks, grinding grains and preparing food. The other two coolamons feature progressively growing triangle shapes, reflecting growth. We know that everyone’s journey is not always direct.
Our visitors’ circle, at the base right corner, tells the story of people on a journey, not lost, but still discovering along the way. Our visitors, at the top left corner, are on a clear path, and shown with considered balance. Throughout there is representation of water, sky, sea, sand and river, all speaking of Country where the journey began. The symmetry of the design and numerical repetition tells the story of investing in people, creating balance and harmony through perseverance and determination. You may have to complete the same task multiple times before the balance is complete.