Region’s largest First Nations public art sculpture transforms Bli Bli
  • Monday 29 June 2020

Have you caught a glimpse of the three-metre high First Nation’s warrior’s shield in Bli Bli?

The stand-out attraction is part of a new series of eye-catching Kabi Kabi artworks being installed to pay homage to Bli Bli’s indigenous roots.

The shield sculpture is designed and visioned by Kabi Kabi Traditional Custodians Lyndon Davis and Brent Miller.

Division 9 Councillor Maria Suarez said she was proud to see art celebrating Kabi Kabi stories about Bli Bli and the surrounding landscape.

“The shield is as magnificent from afar, as it is up close!” Cr Suarez said.

“We are very fortunate to have talented artists like Lyndon and Brent who worked with Urban Art Projects to produce the region’s largest ever First Nations commissioned public art sculptures.

“The artists were inspired by a hand-made Kabi Kabi shield which became the muse for this phenomenal sculpture.

“It’s quite clever how the sculpture was formed – they used 3D digital scanning technology to re-create the handmade shield, but on a much, much larger scale.  

“The colours and patterns of the contemporary artwork also share and reflect the dreamtime legends of Maroochy, Coolum and Ninderry.”

Artists Lyndon Davis and Brent Miller said it was an incredible honour to re-create the shields for the community and hope those who visit will see the reflection of Bli Bli’s heritage in the design.

“Our elders never really got a chance to do a large piece of public artwork in Bli Bli,” Mr Davis said.

“Look out…many years later we come along and receive this incredible opportunity to do something for our community.

“I’m sure our ancestors will be happy we’re getting the chance to throw down their patterns and designs up on the river for the first time.”

“The shield itself is a symbol and everybody had their own with unique patterns and designs carved into the face of the shield,” Mr Miller said.

“It’s a special moment for us to have the chance to create a legacy for our community to admire now and to continue on for generations to come.”

The First Nations art features are an important part of the $1.5 million streetscape project to revitalise Bli Bli along David Low Way.

“The fresh multi-stage streetscape project will include new safer pathways, undergrounding of overhead power, a green space and street furniture to welcome our community and visitors into Bli Bli,” Cr Suarez said.

 “Families can enjoy a new public park positioned opposite Muller Park and adjacent to the recently completed commercial complex ­which has become another tremendous addition for locals.

 “This new space will certainly make the most of the sweeping views of Maroochy River and provide a scenic place for families and friends to relax.

 “The way I see it, this is a project which ticks all the right boxes for creating a healthy, smart and creative region.”

 A second sculpture, representing Maroochy river, will be installed in conjunction with the future Bli Bli Tavern development planned for further along David Low Way– watch this space.

You can also watch Lyndon Davis explain the significance of his artwork "His Native Place" – a painting that depicts five stories of the Kabi Kabi peoples and is on display at the Sunshine Coast Airport.

Watch now: