ARTIST Darryl Bellotti has brightened up Perth Zoo’s Australian Bushwalk in time for Naidoc Week, with a new native dreamtime themed mural.
With the view of increasing its connection to Indigenous history and culture beyond its current tours, Perth Zoo approached the WA Indigenous Tourism Operators Council who recommended Bellotti for the job.
The Armadale resident is of Yamatji and Nyoongar ancestry and is dedicated to the ongoing survival of all Indigenous culture and traditions.
Bellotti’s mural depicts the Nyoongar creation story, showing the Rainbow Serpant, known as the Waugul, as it traverses the Swan River (Derbarl Yerrigan) creating the waterways, lakes and tributaries of Perth.
“I designed the mural to show the Nyoongar creation story as it is believed the Waugul is the being who gave Aboriginal people the job of being caretakers for the land,” he said.
“And where better to open that conversation and grow an understand for why and where our connection to the land, plants and animals comes from, than at the zoo.”
Bellotti said his painting style was different to that normally associated with “traditional” Aboriginal art as he wanted express the reality that each Indigenous region has cultural, verbal and historical difference.