i2C Architects have turned the traditional Indigenous artworks of Delvene Cockatoo-Collins into a number of fabrics, wallpapers and ceiling features that are now on display at the Cleveland Central Shopping Centre.
Located on Quandamooka Country, the centre is one of the first commercial properties to pay homage to its original custodians with a display of this size. The designs are reflective of nature and the traditional Quandamooka people’s practices.
i2C were commissioned by property investors Haben to make the project a reality. Quandamooka woman Cockatoo-Collins says the new design has made a commercial space into a community space.
“A lot of people have said how powerful the art display is, and how proud they are to see it - both from my own aboriginal community, as well as non-aborignal people across my network,” she says.
“It gives you that welcoming feeling as you walk through the centre; we have always been welcoming people and people have always gathered in places. This feels like it reflects those values.”
Drawing on a coastal motif and gentle blue hues, the designs honour the natural landscape and Quandamooka practices such as weaving and basket-making. The designs can be seen across entry points, ceiling features, seating, bathrooms, parent rooms and escalators.
Cockatoo-Collins’ ‘Eugaries’ design is a prominent feature throughout the centre, from a timber ceiling feature in the entry void to blue toned cushion fabric in the seating pods, and artwork along the escalator walls.
“Eugaries are shells that stand up in the surf and then hit the sand and bury themselves. When the tide goes out it leaves little lumps behind. I love going down the escalators and looking up, as all the patterns are all around you, it mimics the experience of the Eugaries,” she says.
The Parents Room hosts a number of works including the ‘Pulan to Mulgumpin’ - depicting the local North Stradbroke Island reeds and Quandamooka waters and the journey of the Migalu Yalingbila - as well as ‘Turtles in Quandamooka Waters’ popping their heads up along Goompi - Dunwich to feed and play.
The circular seating areas provide privacy and a resting place, which Delvene says translates to ‘you are welcome, you are invited, you can sit down and rest.’
“It’s a feeling of gentleness throughout the shopping centre, it hugs you as you walk through. The team at i2C interpreted my work better than I could have imagined, my art has been protected and my work has been valued in that space - I always love working in a great team,” she says.
i2C Director, Rod Rose, says they were provided with a brief to give the centre a modern, fresh feel that showcases the local environment, lands and waters.
“It was such a privilege to transform Delvene’s powerful work into an architectural experience that could be shared by the community and translate the essence of Cleveland from this very unique perspective,” he says.
“A great deal of time was spent incorporating delicate patterning on upholstery, wallpaper and applications in the ceiling, as well as fine natural fibres in order to create an aesthetic that did the artwork justice.”