Celebrating The Six Seasons by Jennifer Dawson & Kevin Bynder

‘Celebrating the Six Seasons’ is a series of artworks by Jennifer Dawson, with collaboration from Aboriginal artist, Kevin Bynder. They are designed to be read as a series that tells the story of the Nyoongar six seasons and are embedded into the pavement at Lake Treeby.

The colour, texture and imagery reflect the natural environment of the Treeby area.

The Six Seasons artwork aims to:

  • express a connection to the native flora and fauna
  • acknowledge the long history of the first nations people in this area
  • establish a sense of place.

About The Art

The artwork is made up of one large circular work with a diameter of 1.2 metres. This work references the colours of the six Nyoongar seasons and features six individual circular artworks around the perimeter of the circle. The six circles feature flora and fauna of the natural environment, as well as reference to the lake and water.

The centre of the larger mosaic features a design by Aboriginal artist, Kevin Bynder, depicting his interpretation of the six seasons.

The six smaller circles measure 60cm in diameter. They are located in a linear pattern, linking up to the larger work and leading further along the pathway. The imagery in these six smaller works continues the references to the colours of the six seasons and further explores textures, colours and forms from the local natural environment.

The artworks are made of high fired, coloured ceramic tiles. They use an earthy brown clay and white porcelain clay to enhance the areas to be used as colours.

All leaves and bush litter used in the designs are taken from nearby bushlands, enabling the work to celebrate a sense of place. Specific imagery that features in the designs are patterns made by Banksia leaves and gums leaves when pressed into clay, as well as twigs, bush litter and remains of seeds and nuts.

The artworks use soft clay to capture impressions that act as a memory of the real object when coloured and fired. The colours of wildflowers, orchids, water, sky and earth create direct references to the natural environment.

The placement of the artworks makes a subtle reference to creeks and rivers, as well as the Indigenous Rainbow Serpent (Waaklal).

The Noongar Six Seasons

  • Birak (Hot & dry / December – January). Red symbolises heat, sun and fire.
    • During this time, Noongar people used controlled burning to hunt kangaroo and wallaby. When they first drove animals from the bushlands, it was easier for hunters to spear their prey. Kangaroo, still eaten today, is a healthy food source for Noongar and non-Noongar people.
  • Bunuru (Hot easterly winds / February – March). Orange symbolises abundance of fishing and lack of rain
    • At this time, Noongar families camped near the coast and river inlets, where fishing provided a good food source.
  • Djeran (Cooler weather / April – May). Light green symbolises cooler weather and eucalyptus trees.
    • Families moved further inland along the Swan River where they continued to fish. They also collected bulbs and seeds to eat.
  • Makuru (Cold & wet / June – July). Dark blue symbolises rain and cold weather.
    • Winds turn westerly, becoming very cold. Noongar people moved inland, away from the coast. For food, they captured moulting swans (losing their feathers) and fat, juicy bardi grubs that live in grass trees. To keep warm and dry, they wore booka (kangaroo skins coats) and built mia mia (huts) for shelter.
  • Djilba (Cold & rain decreasing / August – September). Pink (or purple) symbolises growth of wildflowers and plants.
    • Noongar people dug up native potatoes from beneath wandoo trees. They also hunted emus, kangaroo, bandicoot and possum for food.
  • Kambarang (Warm & rain decreasing / October – November). Yellow symbolises return of the hot weather.
    • Families move back towards the coast as weather warms up. Here they enjoy waterfowl, birds, eggs, pigeons, frogs, freshwater crayfish and turtles as part of their diet at this time.

About Jennifer Dawson

Jenny Dawson has been a practicing freelance artist since graduating with both a teaching degree (Queensland University) and a fine arts degree, specialising in drawing and ceramics (Curtin University).

She worked for several years producing maiolica decorated tableware with well-respected potter, Ian MacRae, before establishing J Shed Art Studio with partner and professional photographer, Peter Zuvela in 1998.

Since 1996, she has successfully worked on more than 60 collaborations to produce art for public spaces.

View more of her works here:

Jenny Dawson Ceramics Instagram

Jenny Dawson website

About Kevin Bynder

Kevin Bynder was born in Perth in 1975 to a Whadjuk-Yuet Nyungar Mother and a Widi-Badimia Yamatji Father.

Kevin began his career as an artist at the age of of 23, moving from Fitzroy Crossing to Broome where he established his first art studio. Since those humble beginnings, Kevin has sold his art locally, nationally and internationally.

Kevin’s studio, Kevvybynders Art, is based in Perth’s Yagan Square where he can be found working on his latest piece of art, or speaking about the Noongar culture to locals and tourists. He enjoys using his art to teach the wider community about Aboriginal culture.

“My culture has been around for 60,000 to 70,000 years; we’re the oldest living culture in the world. For people who don’t know much about it, art is one way we can get them to embrace what we know and what we do”.

“My art make me feel I’m doing something good, helping us all move forward together.”

As well as his work on canvas, Kevin has designed the uniforms of a number of professional sporting clubs in Australia such as, Fremantle Dockers, West Coast Eagles, Perth Wildcats and the Port Adelaide Football Club.

View more of his works here:

Kevin Bynders Art Instagram

Kevin Bynder Art Facebook

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