A stunning artwork from First Nations artist Daikota Nelson has been unveiled to mark The Capital’s 150th anniversary.
Ms Nelson’s new work has pride of place in the entrance in a permanent, prominent position as you enter The Capital.
Ms Nelson said the concept encapsulated First Nations storytelling, culture and Country, the history of the area and knowledge of The Capital’s history.
“The artwork resembles a tree when you cut it open, and you can see all the layers of growth,” Ms Nelson said.
“The layers represent time, knowledge and growth over the years.
“One of the layers looks like a bone structure and it depicts strength.
“Colours that I went with were like the colours that I saw in the building, specifically in the main foyer.
“I wanted to go with something that is somewhat subtle but that also complements the space that it was going to be in.
“Passing of knowledge is a big inspiration for my artwork. Without my Elders and ancestors, I wouldn’t be able to learn about my culture. A lot of my artworks reflect stories that I know.”
Manager Bendigo Venues & Events Julie Amos said she was thrilled with the completed artwork.
“Huge congratulations to Daikota for her incredible artwork, which is a landmark piece to celebrate The Capital’s 150th anniversary milestone,” Ms Amos said.
“It is a striking contemporary artwork with a depiction of the rings of a tree to illustrate the passing of time.
“Ms Nelson’s work will be a celebrated focal point for all visitors to the building to see, talk about and admire.”
The permanent artwork was commissioned last June to mark the heritage building’s historic milestone.
Ms Nelson’s concept was chosen following an expressions of interest (EOI) process in March 2023. First Nations artists practising or living in central Victoria were invited to apply.
The EOI attracted a very high standard of submissions and Ms Nelson’s concept made a strong impression on the panel. The $8,000 commission covers the artist’s fee, framing and materials.
A priority action in the Greater CREATIVE Bendigo Strategy is to support First Nations artists and culture, and this high-profile commission is one of many City initiatives to support its commitment to reconciliation.