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‘Eel’ slithers its way into Ringwood Lake Park

Published on 03 August 2018
  • Children and young people
  • Parks and recreation

A shiny amphibious creature has slithered its way into Ringwood Lake Park.

The 50-metre-long Eel sculpture is the latest exciting addition for the playspace at Ringwood Lake Park as works on the million-dollar redevelopment of the site begin to take shape.

A group of Maroondah seniors and local students have been busily decorating the sculptural eel using mosaics designed by Art Practitioner Jeanette Jennings, and which reflect and celebrate Maroondah’s proud Indigenous heritage.

Ms Jennings, a community artist for 20 years, says the beautiful ceramic mosaics and discs are based on Victoria’s Indigenous symbology, in particular the Wurundjeri culture.

“All of the decorative elements were inspired by the line of work of this culture to provide genuine significance to the work. Participants were introduced to the meaning of the line of work and its relevance to the site,” she said.

The images participants used as a reference for their designs included: Ripples in Mother Earth; The Wind; the Four Seasons; Watering Holes and Rivers.

The symbol of the Eel also holds great significance.

Eels were a valued and abundant seasonal food source for Aboriginal Australians and their natural presence and migratory patterns carried significant meaning in Aboriginal culture and lore.

Ms Jennings has also worked extensively with several Indigenous groups and Elders on mural installations, both painted and ceramic, and recently with the late Uncle Roy from the Tuangarong people, who she says gifted her the meanings behind the Victorian Symbology.

“I am hoping that all visitors may enjoy the slithering Eel that takes on the shimmery elements of the water and the environment around it,” Ms Jennings said.

She said the tactile nature of the mosaics also provided a wonderful sensory experience for people with impaired vision to connect with the artwork.

Ms Jennings says she hopes the sculpture “provokes an appreciation’’ what the eel meant in the way of survival for Indigenous people, as well as ‘’an appreciation of the type of symbology used by our Victorian Indigenous People as it is far removed from what we know from the dot painting that we all relate to”.

To read more about the new playspace at Ringwood Lake Park visit our parks page.

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