Two significant contemporary Indigenous art murals were unveiled today that were painted as a lasting reminder and legacy of Brisbane hosting the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final.
Yeronga South Brisbane AFC Juniors President Lachlan Grantley joined artists Birrunga Wiradyuri and Kane Brunjes to unveil one of the legacy art pieces today.
The final touches were made to the mural at the Yeronga South Brisbane Australian Football Club this morning, to add the 2020 Premiers, Richmond Football Club to the piece.
Commissioned by Brisbane Economic Development Agency, artists Birrunga Wiradyuri of the Wiradyuri Nation and Kane Brunjes, a Gunggari, Kabi Kabi man, worked together on the two pieces, called The Journey at Yeronga AFC and The Challenge at Zillmere.
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said it was important that Brisbane embraced and celebrated its debut as the host city of the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final and these murals would ensure that legacy was unforgettable.
“Hosting the AFL Grand Final in Brisbane provided an amazing opportunity for residents to experience the excitement and festivities of the game, while also celebrating the city’s diversity and inclusiveness,” Cr Schrinner said.
“These murals at suburban football clubs represent the impact such an event can have for the whole city, including at a grassroots level, and no doubt many of Brisbane’s football fans will talk about the year Brisbane hosted the grand final for some time to come.”
AFL Queensland CEO Dean Warren said the murals were a wonderful legacy for AFL in Queensland.
“This has been a historic and unforgettable year for AFL in our state. To see these incredible artworks capture the moment, forever in time is a wonderful tribute,” Mr Warren said.
“We hope that the murals continue to inspire hundreds of kids across our city and state to believe in their dreams of playing at the highest level, and that anything is possible.
“We would like to thank the Brisbane City Council for its support of such a wonderful initiative.”
The Journey mural at Yeronga AFC tells a chronological and geographic story of the 2020 AFL season featuring crosshatch references to the Indigenous and non-Indigenous players. It reads from left to right articulating the entire AFL season from round one through to the final. It illustrates the winners from each round with all teams honoured for their achievements. Each regular round of the season is depicted by boomerang shaped icons, made up of the winners of each round as well as referencing the past and present Indigenous players, their families and communities who are massive supporters of the AFL. Richmond Football Club feature in the final aspect of the piece with the Premiership Cup aptly positioned at the very end of the Mural.
The Challenge mural at Zillmere depicts the obstacles of the 2020 Toyota AFL Season. It features an AFL Football with goal posts on either side, the full roster of AFL teams and features the 2020 Premiers including the prestigious Premiership Cup. The goal posts are painted as spears to honour all of our First Nations families and communities being represented across the nation in the AFL.
The title of both murals was inspired by the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final’s marketing campaign, BELIEVE IN THE UNBELIEVABLE, very relevant given the challenges of 2020.
About the Mural: The Journey, Yeronga AFC
- Each regular round of the season is depicted by a boomerang shaped icon made up of the winners of each round as well as referencing the past and present Indigenous players, their families and communities who are massive supporters of the AFL.
- There were 2 x draws during the season which are featured with both team’s side by side in the apex area of the boomerangs. Some Boomerangs are different shapes which is referencing the many different types of Boomerangs within the Indigenous culture as well as accounting for the byes in each round.
- The first two rounds are followed by a gap in which sits an icon representing the onset of social distancing and lockdown measures due to COVID-19 which stopped the season dead in its tracks.
- The QLD icon denotes the move of the AFL as a whole to QLD to be able to reignite the competition and get on with the season. From there the Boomerangs denote rounds 3 through to 18 where the iconography changes and simply shows all the teams who played their way into the finals through to the two teams featured in the Grand Final.
- The Premiership trophy at the very end of the wall has a significant increase in the gap between the finals rounds which are closer to show the intensity of the finals.
- Richmond Football Club has been placed next to the cup and is shown larger than the rest of the teams in the preceding iconography.
- The title is fitting to tell the story of not only the 2020 AFL season but to have an AFL Grand Final played at the Gabba!
About the Mural: The Challenge, Zillmere AFC
- This is a statement piece featuring simplistic iconography that tells the story of the challenge and duress for the players and their families during the COVID-19 impacted 2020 AFL season.
- An AFL football features in the centre of the work set over a wide-open space with goal posts behind it and on either side.
- A boomerang featuring nine of the 18 AFL teams is on either side of the football with the 2020 AFL Toyota Grand Final teams featured in the apex of each boomerang. The boomerang shaped icon references the past and present Indigenous players, their families and communities who are massive supporters of the AFL.
- The composition of the work is slightly asymmetric in reference to the 2020 season being a bit out of shape.
- The football shows extreme wear and tear and features some jagged markings to reference the COVID-19 impact on the players and their families.
- The colour of the ball and the markings on the ball are deliberately hot and work well in all light. This is reference to the determination of the AFL and the players to ensure the 2020 AFL season went ahead, though with some challenges and pressure.
- The Premiership Cup is put deliberately in front of the football to denote it as the foremost pursuit of the season.
- Richmond Football Club is featured on the opposite side of the football, again prominently positioned in front of the football to honour the achievement of the premiership winning team.
- The 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final, ‘BELIEVE IN THE UNBELIEVABLE’ features in the foreground of the work to reference the achievement of a full AFL season despite COVID-19 as well as the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final that was played at the Gabba.
ARTIST 1: Birrunga Wiradyuri
Birrunga Wiradyuri is a man of the Wiradyuri Nation and the founder and principal artist of the multi award Birrunga Gallery & Dining. He is dedicated to fulfilling his Cultural responsibilities, following, and practicing the central Wiradyuri law of Yindyamarra: to do something slowly, to respect, to be gentle, to be polite, to honour. A path he readily acknowledges challenge him to grow daily.
ARTIST 2: Kane Brunjes
Kane Brunjes is a Gunggari, Kabi Kabi man practicing in both public and gallery realms. Through his art practice Brunjes aims to solidify and represent a visual portrayal of how he views and reacts to the environment surrounding him with consideration to history and story. Now working exclusively with Birrunga Gallery he continues to develop these core foundations with a guided lens of expertise. Brunjes is the inaugural participant in Birrunga Gallery’s 3-year Cultural Creative Residential program.
- Yeronga was derived from the aboriginal word yerongpa meaning ‘sandy place’
- Extensive history of Yeronga began with the Aboriginal Jagera tribe.
- The two main tribes in Brisbane are Jagera and Turrbal.
- In the 2016 ABS Census, there were 6,535 people in Yeronga (State Suburbs). Of these 48.7% were male and 51.3% were female. Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people made up 1.0% of the population. The median age of people in Yeronga (State Suburbs) was 36 years.
- The name Zillmere derives from German dialects.
- The Turrbal people occupied the region north of Brisbane River, including the area covered by Zillmere
- In the 2016 ABS Census, there were 8,967 people in Zillmere (State Suburbs). Of these 49.4% were male and 50.6% were female. Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people made up 4.2% of the population. The median age of people in Zillmere (State Suburbs) was 33 years.