Installation view of Aunty Kim Wandin’s work <em>Luk Burgurrk Gunga</em> on display in NGV Triennial from 3 December 2023 – 7 April 2024 at NGV International, Melbourne. Photo: Sean Fennessy<br/>

Aunty Kim Wandin

Photo: Brett Walker

Kim Wandin
Wurundjeri/Woiwurrung born 1958

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Aunty Kim Wandin’s sculpture Iuk bagurrk gunga, meaning ‘eel women catch’, is a tribute to the remarkable history of Wurundjeri women, their matrilineal tradition of weaving, and their relationship with the short-finned eel, known as iuk. The sculpture highlights the migratory paths of these eels, which today traverse sewers and underground waterways across and beneath Naarm/Melbourne. Wandin’s bronze sculpture is cast from a woven form that the artist created in 2023. Iuk bagurrk gunga is comprised of bronze segments that have been brought together to form a unified piece. The eight-metre-long sculpture exudes a remarkable sense of fluidity and motion, capturing the essence of this traditional fishing tool that holds such significance in Wurundjeri culture.

Aunty Kim Wandin is a Wurundjeri Elder of the Woiwurrung language group. She has lived and worked on Country in Healesville, Victoria, her entire life. Her traditional basket-making has been handed down to her from her grandmother, her great-grandmother and her ancestors. Aunty Kim’s work represents a significant cultural position within the south-east of Victoria as part of an important group of arts practitioners. Her work adheres to and references traditional cultural practices. As a leading Aboriginal artist, Aunty Kim explores contemporary genres that both enhance and complement her basketry and fibre pieces. Her work speaks of space, texture and light, while referencing notions of movement. As an Elder, she advocates for strengthening culture and sharing her knowledge.

Co-commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and the City of Melbourne. Collection of the City of Melbourne