Ellen Trevorrow’s Pondi gives form to a Ngarrindjeri legend
After months of labour, the weaver has completed a giant Murray cod artwork for the SA Maritime Museum in time for National Reconciliation Week.
According to Ngarrindjeri tradition, the Lower Murray was created by the thrashing-about of Pondi, a giant cod.
As the hunter Ngurunderi chased him, Pondi’s tail carved a channel through the landscape.
The latest work by Ngarrindjeri weaver Ellen Trevorrow has given form to the legend in a big way.
She and a team of helpers have spent the past year creating Pondi: Kurri Winth-amaldi: “Murray cod, river creator”.
Using rushes gathered on the Coorong, woven around a wire frame four and a half metres long, they made a sculpture of the great fish.
Filmmaker James Baker documented the entire process in a four-part video series on behalf of the South Australian Maritime Museum.
All four videos are available to watch on YouTube.
Meanwhile, the artwork was installed at the museum – with much fanfare – last Friday.
It will hang next to the replica ketch Active II, just inside the gallery’s main entrance.
It is not the first time Ms Trevorrow has created a large-scale installation for the museum.
Her work Kondoli, the whale, was installed there for an exhibition in 2018.
The recent project was funded by a grant from Arts SA.
Watch the videos: Click on the titles of each part to watch part one, Water People; part two, Murray Cod; part three, Weaving; and part four, Healing.
More information: maritime.history.sa.gov.au.
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Thanks so much to Peri and Murray Bridge News for the opportunity to watch these marvellous videos of superb local artists helping us people locally living to understand more about country - ruwe and waters where we are. And thanks to my kind friend for subscribing me! Such an important role theartists have. What an extraordinary artist, community maker and cultural and cross cultural teacher you are Aunty Ellen Trevorrow. And not surprised to see that the nore -pelican was your husband's natje - I was honoured to be at his funeral where they paid such tribute Michele Madigan
We are so privileged to have Ngarrindjeri weaver Ellen Trevorrow in our community. There must be a Hall of Fame place waiting for her somewhere out there!