Renowned Bibbulmun Noongar/Yamatji Budymia artist Tjyllyungoo (Lance Chadd) has completed a series of frog sculptures to mark the 10th anniversary of the City of Cockburn’s popular outdoor playgroup Froggy’s Fun on the Green.
Titled Kwidjar Boorongor, meaning ‘Frog – Spiritual Elder Brother’ (Totem), the painted reinforced concrete sculptures are big enough for children to play on, and are at Manning Park in Spearwood.
The sculptures depict the Western banjo frog (Limnodynastes dorsalis
) morphing out of limestone to face the waters of Manning Lake where they live and can be heard calling to each other.
Tjyllyungoo said the sculptures were designed to help children learn through play.
“Learning through play is the traditional Noongar way of education – children and youth learning by self-driven enthusiasm, involving whole body senses while exploring a natural environment,” he said.
Frogs are a Boorongor, or totem, for Noongar people and have always been important to Noongar people signifying clean safe water to drink. They have now been scientifically listed as bio markers being the first in the food chain to leave a water source before it becomes toxic.
“Every animal and plant species living in country are related to us through our ‘Boorongor’ - meaning our spiritual elder and blood brother relation,” Tjyllyungoo said.
“Boorongor identifies people with strong connections to place, belonging and our ways of care for Country, or Boodja.
“Swans, kangaroos, fish, turtles, frogs, flowers, trees, birds, insects, are all a ‘Boorongor' to a Bibbulmun Whadjuk person, family group, and/or district.
“Traditionally, every circumstance of life and death was ceremoniously associated with the Boorongor.
“Our waterways, lakes and estuaries have provided our people with foods and medicines for thousands of years. Manning Lake is one of these important grounds.”
The free outdoor playgroup, which is held at Manning Park on Mondays, and one other park in various suburbs around Cockburn each Tuesday during school terms, has helped thousands of local children learn through play since it first began in 2011.
Froggy’s is a mobile outdoor play session for Cockburn families or carers with children aged 0 to 5 years. It offers fun activities for children and a chance for mums, dads, grandparents or carers to connect with others, and access information and support.
Tjyllyungoo has completed similar frog sculptures at Optus Stadium and designed the 9m WIRIN sculpture in Yagan Square.
The sculptures were unveiled by Mayor Logan Howlett on Monday, 15 February.
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for more information about Froggy's Fun on the Green.
Mayor Logan Howlett with renowned Bibbulmun Noongar/Yamatji Budymia artist Tjyllyungoo (Lance Chadd), centre, and the artist's partner Trish Robinson with one of the frog sculptures at Manning Park.
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