'Walking on Country' artwork launch

Philip Kent and Jessie Waratah removing a black cloth to reveal the artwork Walking on Country displayed on an easel

On Monday 8 April 2024, the artwork Walking on Country by artist Jessie Waratah was officially launched at an event held in Fisher Library. The artwork was commissioned as a placemaking design to connect the Library’s digital and physical spaces to local Gadigal Country, where many of our Library locations sit. It connects the Library’s buildings and staff and student community to Country, and invites us to remember that we are always on Aboriginal Land.

This project was funded by the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Indigenous Strategy and Services as apart of the One Sydney Many People Strategy. Jessie was chosen from a range of highly competitive applications from established and emerging artists. 

At the event, Philip Kent (University Librarian), Pippa Herden (Indigenous Engagement Officer) and Jessie gave speeches. Jessie spoke to the process of creating her artwork as a scalable, adaptable digital creation, which has been a learning experience for her as an artist. She shared her cultural process, which involved speaking to Indigenous Elders and community for guidance and support. 

Attendees from across the University community were present at the event, including staff from Deputy Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Services (DVCISS), the Gadigal Centre, and staff and students from the Extended Bachelor Program.

We sincerely thank Jessie for her generous, collaborative spirit throughout this process. It has been a pleasure to travel with Jessie throughout her creative journey, and we commend her attention to detail, especially in ensuring this work could be reproduced across many formats. 

We invite you to view Walking on Country on display in the Fisher Library foyer, and to see a decal of the artwork in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Space on level 3. We look forward to featuring Walking on Country across our Library presence in the future. 

Read Jessie Waratah's full artist statement online