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The Gathering Garden

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Gathering Garden
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Gathering Garden - Alice Springs - Cities, Towns and Localities
The official opening Monday 14th September, 2009, of the ‘Gathering Garden’ on the Civic Centre site in the town centre of Alice Springs was the culmination of a Public Arts project that brought together Indigenous artists from nine communities surrounding Alice Springs, artist Julie Squires, who came up with the concept, Alice Springs Town Council, and the NT government.

The artists who worked and contributed to the ‘Gathering Garden’ include Marie Elena Ellis, Michael Nelson, Roseanne Ellis, Marcia Alice, April Campbell, Emma Daniels, Tina Malbunka, Thomas Rice, June Smith and MK Turner. The artists created paintings for the garden that were reinterpreted into the motif designs and sculptured coolamon forms by artist Julie Squires and her assistant Fred White.

This new attraction for Alice Springs is an environmental art installation, inspired by the rich history of the Civic Centre site, which was the location of the cameleers’ meeting area, the town’s first mosque and fire brigade, as well as being the residence of the famous Central Australian anthropologist and horticulturalist, Miss Muriel Olive Pink.

More than just an art installation, it invites the visitor to rest a while and reflect on the original inhabitants, as well as paying homage to past and present inhabitants, that include the Afghan and Indian cameleers, the early European pioneers and settlers, and the Arrernte people on whose land Alice Springs is situated.
 

The Gathering Garden © Marie Elena Ellis and Roseanne Ellis
Julie Squires, artist and Project Director, created the concept of ‘The Gathering Garden’, which inspired the painting by Arrernte / Walpiri artists and sisters, Marie Elena Ellis and Roseanne Ellis. The painting was then interpreted by leading authority and local horticulturalist, Geoff Miers, who designed a desert native garden with species of plants, shrubs, trees and locally quarried sandstone, river rubble and granite. The paving in the garden is made from crushed glass as a demonstration on how glass can be recycled in Alice Springs.

Cultural and linguistic ties are present in the garden in the Dari language of the cameleers; botanical words for Olive Pink; and the words ‘come, sit, be’, which represent the indigenous languages of Arrernte, Anmatyerr, Warlpiri, Pitjantjatjara and Luritja.

Source: Alice Springs Town Council

Gathering Garden Images

The Gathering Garden © Marie Elena Ellis and Roseanne Ellis Gathering Garden Artists: April Campbell, Marcia Alice, June Smith, Margaret Kemarre Turner Gathering Garden Artists: Thomas Jangala Rice, Tina Malbunka, Emma Daniels, Michael Nelson  
Barbara Satour from Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation Alice Springs Mayor Damien Ryan at the opening of the Gathering Garden, Alice Springs, NT, Australia Minister for Central Australia Karl Hampton at the opening of the Gathering Garden, Alice Springs, NT, Australia Julie Squires, artist and Project Director at the opening of the Gathering Garden, Alice Springs, NT, Australia
Official opening of the ‘Gathering Garden’. Words and her own poem from artist Marie Ellis at the official opening of the Gathering Garden. Indigenous Ceremonial launch of the Gathering Garden. Teresa Davis, Marie Ellis, Roseanne Ellis - Indigenous Ceremonial launch of the Gathering Garden
Teresa Davis, Marie Ellis, Roseanne Ellis. Teresa Davis, Marie Ellis, Michael Nelson, Roseanne Ellis at the central water feature. Key players and officials at the water urn in the Gathering Garden. Minister for Central Australia Karl Hampton and Alice Springs Mayor Damien Ryan (September 2009)
The Central Coolamon Water Feature Marie Ellis, Michael Nelson, Roseanne Ellis Miss Olive Muriel Pink dedication. Bronze coolamon - nyinakati ~ come, sit, be (translation)
Bronze coolamon - arrernelhyaye ~ come, sit, be (translation) ‘come, sit, be’ - translation from the Indigenous language of the region. The Gathering Garden seating, nearest to the Town Council and Library. Alice Springs is the heart of Central Australia, located within Arrernte Country.
Bronze coolamon - arrernelhyaye ~ come, sit, be (translation) Bronze coolamon - anetyeh petyay ~ come, sit, be (translation) The Gathering Garden south seating, next to Todd Street. Government surveyor William Whitefield Mills and the naming of Alice Springs.
Bronze coolamon - arrernelhyaye ~ come, sit, be (translation) Bronze coolamon - nyinakalu ~ come, sit, be (translation) The Gathering Garden seating, corner of Gregory Terrace and Todd Street. The Gathering Garden seating, corner of Gregory Terrace and Todd Street.
European settlement and exploration depended heavily on the expertise of Muslim cameleers from Afghanistan and British India. Bronze coolamon - arrernelhyaye ~ come, sit, be (translation) Bronze coolamon - nyinakalu ~ come, sit, be (translation)  
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