Capturing the vibrant energy and spirit of two local birds to the area, the koolbardi (magpie) and djidi djidi (willy wag tail), the striking mural acts as a warm ‘wandjoo’ (welcome) to families and visitors as they arrive at the centre.
At its heart is a brightly coloured ‘yarning circle’ that represents the meeting place for children and educators, which has also become a regular practise at the centre.
Painted by talented Perth-based Indigenous artist and proud Yamatji man Brian Blatchford of BKB Design, the striking mural is the last of five to be painted across MercyCare’s Early Learning Centres.
Centre manager Gemma Gardiner said in brainstorming the mural’s design, they consulted children and families at the centre who voted for which animals should be featured on the mural.
The chosen animals also inspired the re-naming of the centre’s three rooms to Djidi Jjidi (Babies’ Room), Koolbardi (Toddlers’ Room) and Maali – the Noongar word for Swan – (Kindy Room).
To expand on the idea of renaming the rooms, Gemma engaged artist Brian to create a canvas painting of each animal that links back to the outdoor mural and will be put on display outside each of the corresponding rooms.
“This has been a very exciting project and the children have loved being involved in selecting the animals for the mural and paintings,” Gemma said.
“We’ve had a lot of wonderful feedback from families and visitors to the centre who have admired the stunning mural Brian has created on an otherwise plain looking shed. It’s really added a lot of life and colour to our carpark!”