Ceremony

Dr Matilda House and Paul Girrawah House
Mulanggari yur-wang (alive and strong)

Creation date: 2021–22
Location: Sculpture Garden

Artist Paul Girrawah House on Mulanggari yur-wang (alive and strong)

The spirit of our ancestors and old people is in the trees. Trees help anchor our identity and belonging to Country — they hold knowledge, nurture and maintain the wellbeing of our people, plants and animals. Trees help maintain lore and custom. The old growth trees in the Parliamentary Triangle help keep the peace. They are our physical and spiritual guardians. They tell us how to be on Country. It’s a story that is part of truth-telling. The contemporary marking of trees on Country and in the Parliamentary Triangle, which includes the National Gallery Sculpture Garden, is about many things, including the ‘right of might’ approach — a right for our ancestors and families to be acknowledged, respected and honoured.

— Paul Girrawah House, 2021

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