fortyfivedownstairs gallery .  3 – 14 july 2018
bunjil place . 4 – 16 august 2018
maroondah federation estate gallery . 14 january – 29 march 2019

Baluk Arts wish to acknowledge the people of the Kulin Nations on whose land the Too-roo-dun project was developed and exhibited. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present, and emerging.

We would also like to extend our gratitude to all the Elders living in Victoria who have been an invaluable part of this collaborative community project.

Too-roo-dun is a Boonwurrung word for Bunyip, and Bunyip is a word from the Wathawurrung language.

The aim of this project is to connect and unite Indigenous communities in the wider south east region of Melbourne through a collaborative creative arts project interpreting the TOO-ROO-DUN, Bunyip.

The Aboriginal Organisations that have created works for TOO-ROO-DUN are:

  1. Baluk Arts (Urban Aboriginal Art Centre, Mornington)
  2. Winja Ulupna (Women’s Recovery Centre, St. Kilda)
  3. Mullum Mullum Aboriginal Cooperative (Elders Group, Croydon)
  4. Willum Warrain (Aboriginal Gathering Place, Hastings)
  5. Bunjilwarrra (Koori Youth Alcohol and Drug Healing Service, Hastings)
  6. Healesville Indigenous Community Services Association (HICSA, Healesville)
  7. Casey Elders Group (Doveton)

TOO-ROO-DUN has brought together Victorian Aboriginal communities to create an immersive and imagined exhibition celebrating the Bunyip.  This has resulted in a re-imagining of the bunyips’ place of residence and offers a contemporary interpretation of cultural stories surrounding inner demons and monsters. The participants’ cultural connections through storytelling has reinvigorated Victorian Indigenous language place names and words.

The TOO-ROO-DUN project has fostered a strong sense of cultural identity, connection and wellbeing for all involved through a collaborative community approach in various Indigenous communities in south east Melbourne. TOO-ROO-DUN has supported the transmission and development of Indigenous language, knowledge and stories about bunyips and place, encouraging connection to country, culture and each other. This project has also supported participation and contributions by all Indigenous community members regardless of their arts experience or skills.

The materials used in the making of the bunyips are varied and include kelp, oaten hay, paper bark, alpaca wool, feathers, fibre, seeds, teeth, bones, as well as a combination of traditional and contemporary materials, such as chicken wire, plastic bones, linoleum tiles, and even a repurposed outdoor umbrella stand.