When Origins Market opens on November 5 it will showcase some of Western Australia’s best food producers, growers and artisans and also share the story of the traditional land it on which it is built.
Neighbouring Origins Market is the Wonnerup Wetlands, a significant historic, cultural and environmental place for the Wadandi people and the Busselton community.
These wetlands have been integral to the development of Origins Market well before the first sod was turned on the site and a complex water treatment plant lays unseen underground to provide clean water to the biodiverse environment.
Thanks to Wadandi elder Wayne Webb, Origins is unearthing the wetlands stories and it has been the task of local artists Sandra Hill, Ian Mutch and Alan Meyburgh to tell these through an array of art that will be woven through the fabric of the building, on its gables, windows and walls.
Talented Dunsborough-based mural artist Ian Mutch is collaborating with the artist group to curate the combined Origins art works.
“Through art installations we’re trying to create a connection to land, particularly highlighting the significance the wetlands had to traditional owners. They were like the original supermarket, a meeting place, and a source of food.
“When we shop for food these days we’re used to a straight-to-consumer kind of culture with a gap between farmers and buyers. We’re trying to close that gap with Origins, allowing people to talk direct to the vendors and experience food in a much more conscious way.
“We’ll be featuring the Wadandi six seasons in the art and wayfinding. We’re lucky to have Wadandi artist Sandra Hill working with us. She is creating drawings which depict these seasons, allowing people to understand the importance of the seasons in connection to growing food.
“Along with Sandra, Elder Wayne Webb has been telling us his stories and memories of the region and the cultural importance of the wetlands.
“The stories will be portrayed through tapestries and sculpture, painted artworks and drawings that will inform window graphics and wayfinding.
“We’re using upcycled timbers and materials as much as possible, like the entrance doors and archways. Pyrographer Bobbie McCain is burning designs into the recycled wood on these archways to mimic the reeds of the wetlands.
“Alan Meyburgh is also highlighting the wetlands in his entry sculpture which will be displayed on the Market’s façade – it is a series of seven flying Ibis returning home to wetland paperbark trees. They use the wetlands to roost, nest and feed. He is creating sculptural bike racks with seats which look like wetlands reeds, plus a dog bowl feature piece that portrays swan eggs. Each is made from recycled materials – old jarrah fence posts, steel offcuts and steel reinforcing rods left over from construction projects.
“Wayne told us that as a boy when he was at the wetlands, they’d look for swan eggs for food. One thing that stood out to me from this story was it’s important not to take all the eggs. You just take enough so that it’s sustainable, that’s so important for everyone to know.
“I’m working on a mural for the playground inside the Market. This artwork will form around a real Marri tree log attached to the wall to bring together nature and play, real life and imagination. Having a nice playground for kids is important and we want it to be vibrant while still linking back to the ideas of wetlands and fresh food.”
Origins Market General Manager Deon Maas said the Market vision was to celebrate talented producers and vendors, acknowledge the importance of the wetlands and the origins of our food sources and integrate art into the building’s signage, artwork, storytelling and way finding.