Sunday, 4 June 2017

dreamtime stories

No—that’s not an incident of pareidolia nor even an example of an acheiropoieton that you’re seeing but rather an apartment complex in Melbourne, completed in 2015, called the “Portrait.”
Architects designed the façade of balconies to form the image, when viewed at a distance, of Beruk (Anglicised as William Barak) son of Bebejan who was the last traditional tribal elder (ngurungæta) of the aboriginal inhabitants, the Wurundjeri clan, of the lands that host the present-day metropolis. Barak, who died in 1903, dedicated his life to fighting for aboriginal social justice causes and was an important informant of his people’s folklore and mythology. Of course such a tribute has no pretensions of amending the grievous suffering that the Aborigines experienced because of European settlement but perhaps the edifice is at least edifying enough to inspire curiosity and move people not to just examine these darker chapters but also the heritage and culture of the population the portrait represents.