Yondee Shane Hansen - Derbarl Yerrigan
15 October 2021 - 28 January 2022
Recent paintings by Whadjuk Ballardong artist Yondee Shane Hansen focus on traditional songlines and walking paths along the waterways associated with Derbarl Yerrigan, the Swan River on the coastal plains around Perth. His paintings show the interconnected places of the Swan River and the large coastal lakes from Joondalup and urban Perth to the Beeliar Wetlands. The rivers of Perth are woven into the Dreaming stories of the local Noongar Aboriginal people. Yondee Shane Hansen says that the river links the freshwater people of the inland with the saltwater people of the coast.
The Dingo Dreaming track connects up with these groups and follows the contours of the river. The Wargyl is the water spirit that has its place in this Country and Yondee refers to ‘swimming with the Wargyl’ along the river course. Elders have also described that it is the place of the fresh water turtle, which was important for medicine. The name Derbarl Yerrigan does not literally translate as Swan River, which is named Narlak (Swan) Beeliar (River). Derbarl Yerrigan is also understood to refer to fresh water or brackish water Turtle Dreaming along the river.
Yondee’s paintings also include images of Gnamma holes, where Aboriginal people harvested water run-off from rock surfaces to collect in small wells, which were covered and protected. The paintings will be on display at Japingka Gallery from 15 October until 28 January 2022.