Nine Streams in the Borna Malliji (Tree of Shadows)

Galleries, Museums and Collections

The Nine Streams in the Borna Malliji (Tree of Shadow) takes the form of a projected shadow on the west wall of the Foundation Place and is located only metres from the actual site where the felling of a tree marked the European foundation of Perth on 12 August 1829.

The artwork is in effect a digital extension of the real shadow of the newly planted Jacaranda tree and uses digital animation to transform the west wall into a theatre of shadows. History appears out of the shadows, revealing some of the significant future history of the State Buildings. Although the artwork is orientated toward subjects of the past, the living spirit of the city portrayed points to a bright future.

The artwork carries a strong statement for reconciliation. Given the Cathedral Square precinct was a site of conflict between the Noongar people and the early Settlers and that the site has been continuously connected to Government activities, it seemed an appropriate place to acknowledge Indigenous and Non-Indigenous relations here. Accordingly, a close working relationship between the artist and Wadjuk local Barry McGuire was established very early on in the making of the work.

Artist – Sohan Ariel Hayes


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