Bay Noongar sculpture impresses former local

South Western Times
Curtin University lecturer, Neil Coyne and sons Lykiam and Neall Coyne, looks at the recently developed Koombana Bay with Troy Bennell ‘centre’.
Camera IconCurtin University lecturer, Neil Coyne and sons Lykiam and Neall Coyne, looks at the recently developed Koombana Bay with Troy Bennell ‘centre’. Credit: Nicole Salmeri

The new-look Koombana Bay has made waves once again — attracting a former Noongar resident back to the region to have a look at the transformation as well as the Noongar artwork.

Lecturer and cultural consultant at Curtin University Neil Coyne said he was shocked by the redevelopment of Koombana Bay and was impressed with the local artwork, Wardandi Boodja.

“The whole of this side of Koombana Bay has totally changed from when I used to be here,” Mr Coyne said. “Wardandi Boodja is definitely a great attraction and I think it actually looks really good from all angles.”

Aboriginal artist Troy Bennell explained the story behind the sculpture to Mr Coyne and said he now has a better appreciation for the artwork.

“The sculpture itself — I like it and I like what it represents ... Troy (Bennell) explained about the seven clans,” he said

Now living in Perth, Mr Coyne said a lot of public art like the Wardandi Boodja sculpture is only temporary but was happy this piece of indigenous art is here permanently.

“There’s a lot of sculptures that are up in Perth and some are being taken away — such as the Cottesloe sculptures but here (Bunbury) — it is kept here to stay,” Mr Coyne said. “It’s not money that keeps it here, it’s people that want to keep it here and there’s nothing more powerful than people and that’s a really good thing.”

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