At 27m long, Tarutharu the Kaurna Skink sits in the GLOW Light Walk and is one of the many giant lanterns made by Melbourne-based A Blanck Canvas.
Previously only exhibited in Adelaide, this is the first time this giant skink has made an appearance in Sydney. Talented Adelaide-based contemporary artist and muralist Elizabeth Close, an Anangu woman from the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara language groups, was commissioned to create the design for Tarutharu. She worked closely with Kaurna and Narungga man Jack Buckskin to translate his story of skink, as told to him by his elders, onto the artwork. The Skink tells the story of the creation of woman and the creation of worlds, featuring a emotive soundtrack designed by award-winning creative, Mark Coles Smith.
Elizabeth is an established Contemporary Aboriginal Visual Artist that has spent the past 14 years crafting a dynamic multi-disciplinary artform that she often expresses through mediums such as 2D art, large-scale muralist installations and digital medias. Her unique and vivid works convey her connection to country.
Jack Buckskin has been a strong icon in the revitalisation process of Kaurna language, passing on his knowledge and language to future generations of Kaurna people. Jack worked closely with the elders to translate the story of the skink, which had been passed down from generations. This was in fact the first time the Kaurna people’s story of the skink had been interpreted and shared with the public.
The skink was designed to weave through cultural landscapes, carrying dreamtime stories and ideas with its motion; it represents fluidity, movement and strength.
The palette and texture of the artwork created for the skink speak directly to the landscape: the deep blues and teals of the ocean and coast, the earthy tones of the land, the red and orange of fire, and warm and inky purples representing the hills and the night sky.
This extraordinary piece has an impressive internal lighting design, as well as a mechanical head that continuously moves.
Don’t miss the chance to see Tarutharu, The Kaurna Skink during its Sydney debut – GLOW at Sydney Zoo SOLD OUT in 2022, so make sure you get in early to avoid disappointment!
Tickets are selling fast. Book now at tickets.sydneyzoo.com/glow to avoid disappointment.