Yalata representatives travel to Japan to present Indigenous sculpture

Sculpting Piti dish

Sculpting Piti dish

YALATA representatives will be part of a group travelling to Japan this week to present a sculpture to the Nagasaki Peace Park.

The sculpture, originating from the Aboriginal communities of Yalata, Oak Valley and Maralinga, is Australia’s first gift to the park and was accepted by Nagasaki City government after a 12-month proposal process. The City of Fremantle will formally present the sculpture, in collaboration with participating Anangu communities and Mayors for Peace Australia.

The sculpture – named ‘Tree of Life: Gift of Peace’ – was inspired by the 70 year commemorations of the atomic bombings in Japan, and links with Australian and Japanese atomic survivors. It was created in collaboration with sculptors and artists from Yalata, Oak Valley and Maralinga. 

Its meaning is related to the Anangu community’s own search for peace, and touches on their recent history of the British nuclear tests at Maralinga in the 1950’s. It is linked to an existing community arts project already running in remote Indigenous communities affected by the Maralinga tests. 

Representatives from the Yalata Anangu community will arrive in Japan tomorrow for the presentation ceremony.

Yalata community chair, Pastor Russell Bryant, will give a speech at a gifting ceremony that will be read in both English and Pitjantjatjara. Several other Anangu artists and community members involved in the project will also be present. 

The Yalata Aboriginal Anangu community had hoped to raise $30,000 to support their participation and attendance at the presentation of the Sculpture in Japan through a ‘Gift of Peace’ crowdfunding campaign. Yalata representatives previously travelled to Japan in 2014 as part of the Nuclear Futures program for a cultural exchange with an atomic survivor from Nagasaki. 

To see more on the Gift for Peace campaign and the Anangu peace sculpture, visit www.chuffed.org/project/giftforpeace.