Bendigo Venues & Events Commissions First Nations Artwork
To mark the 150th anniversary of The Capital, we have commissioned a permanent First Nations artwork which resides in a prominent position as you enter The Capital.
Artist Daikota Nelson
Daikota is a proud Djaara woman living and working on ancestral lands on Dja Dja Wurrung Country. She has been art-making since 2016, it has always been a part of her family and community. Her work explores her connection to country and what it means to be a contemporary First Nations woman living with continuing connection to culture.
Photographer: Bill Conroy
In the foyer of The Capital, to mark it's 150th anniversary, a breathtaking artwork by First Nations artist Daikota Nelson was unveiled, capturing the essence of First Nations storytelling, culture, and the rich history of the region.
Adorning the entrance in a permanent and prominent position, Daikota's creation is an emblematic focal point for those entering The Capital. In an interview with the artist, she spoke passionately about her work, revealing the layers of meaning embedded within the piece.
The artwork resembles a tree when cut open, each layer revealing the passage of time, knowledge, and growth over the years. Daikota explained, "The layers represent the history of the area, the culture, and the knowledge of First Nations people. It's like peeling back the layers of a tree trunk, each telling a different story."
One layer, resembling a bone structure, symbolised strength and resilience. Daikota's careful selection of colors mirrored those she observed within the building, particularly in the main foyer. The hues were chosen to be subtle yet harmonious, complementing the space where her artwork resides.
"I wanted the artwork to blend seamlessly with the environment, much like the passing of knowledge between generations," Daikota shared. "The colors reflect the stories and traditions that have shaped First Nations people over time. It's a visual representation of the deep connection between the land, the people, and their history."
Passing on knowledge was a central theme for Daikota, as her art echoed the stories imparted by her Elders and Ancestors. "Without them, I wouldn't be able to learn about my culture. A lot of my artworks reflect the stories that I know," she explained, emphasising the importance of preserving and sharing cultural heritage through her artistic expression.
As The Capital celebrated its milestone anniversary, Daikota Nelson's artwork stood as a testament to the enduring legacy of First Nations cultures and their profound impact on the history and identity of the city. Each brushstroke, each layer of the tree-like masterpiece, echoed the voices of the past and resonated with the promise of continued growth and understanding for future generations.
Time lapse of Dja Dja Wurrung artist Daikota Nelson creating her artwork. Footage supplied by the artist.