Title: Yarrawali Aagalgu (River to Sea) Artist: Frances Belle Parker (Yaegl) Date: 2021 Medium: Giclee Print on archival quality paper
‘Yarrawali Aagalgu’ (River to Sea) is a representation of mighty Biirrinba (Clarence River) – the majestic river that connects our land to the sea. This my homage to Biirrinba.
Myself, and all Yaegl people, see our river as a life-giving vein and the natural river path makes this explicitly so. It is our connection between our Yaegl towns of Maclean, Yamba, and Iluka and their direct line to the sea. These towns are equally evident within this work and are equally special places on Yaegl land, holding as many stories as our river does.
By mapping Biirrinba through the bold and striking white and blue overlay, I am able to put the river at the forefront of the piece. The dashes used throughout the piece swirl in from various angles like the ebb and flow of the river, or the seemingly random night sky (emphasised with the inclusion of three bright stars that represent my two sisters and I). They also remind us of schools of fish and prawns of which our river has an abundance.
Beneath the overlay is a stretch of Biirrinba that curves its way from Maclean past Woodford Island.
The surrounding hills of Illarwil and Ashby help frame the river, creating a strong focal point. The colours used on the hills and the river are those we see during the most beautiful time of day in Maclean, sunset.