Kaurna Wirltu Tidna

"They come from all places, and along the river that runs through the land to the University. Everyone learning together around the fire, sharing stories and knowledge, being embraced by all cultures."Cedric Varcoe, Artist

Following consultation with Uncle Rodney O’Brien, the University’s Cultural Advisor, Aboriginal artist Cedric Varcoe was commissioned to develop an original artwork related to the Kaurna nation, focusing on the Sea Eagle Foot representation and the Southern Cross, which is featured in the University’s crest.

The Sea Eagle is an important cultural emblem for Kaurna people and is the emblem of the University of Adelaide’s Aboriginal Education Program, Wirltu Yarlu.

The Sea Eagle Foot representation is a significant cultural narrative for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The artwork is placed outside of the Hub building and welcomes everyone coming to the University of Adelaide’s North Terrace Campus. The artwork was originally painted on canvas and then printed on vinyl to fit the length of the building.

The Kaurna Wirltu Tidna mural project was proudly funded by the Australian Government and the Indigenous Student Support Program (ISSP) fund.

Kaurna Wirltu Tidna

Click on the artwork to enlarge the image

About the artwork

The artwork presents a welcoming message for everyone coming to the University of Adelaide’s campus, creating a sense of belonging and place on Kaurna Country. The colourful artwork features the Sea Eagle Foot and the Karrawirra Pari (Red Gum Forest River), also called the River Torrens, whose banks the University of Adelaide’s North Terrace campus is built.

Kaurna Wirltu Tidna: Sea Eagle Foot and the Karrawirra Pari

"It’s about culture and the importance of culture. It is about belonging to place and the story of the Eagle Foot of the Southern Cross and the University crest. People journeying to the University from all walks of life to further their education and training skills as well as learning." Cedric Varcoe, artist.

"There are the tools that help us learn, connect together and to Country and to the spirit of Country. Also as everyone goes into the Hub, it’s about yarning together over lunch or coffee, to catch up and sharing being connected."

The original canvas designs are cared for by the University Library within the Visual Art Collection.

Cedric Varcoe

Cedric Varcoe. Photo by Saul Steed.

About Cedric Varcoe

Cedric Varcoe is a Narungga/Ramindjeri/Ngarrindjeri people, born in Adelaide in 1984. Cedric is a contemporary artist. He started painting at the age of eight. In 2010 and 2014 he won the Port Augusta ‘Malka Art Prize’.