Local Quandamooka woman Delvene Cockatoo-Collins has been commissioned by Haben on the design overhaul at Cleveland Central Shopping Centre, with i2C turning her traditional artwork into fabrics, wallpaper, and ceiling features that have been installed throughout the centre.
Located on land known as Quandamooka Country, the centre is said to be one of the first commercial properties to pay homage to its original custodians in such a display, with designs that are reflective of nature and the traditional Quandamooka people’s practices.
Adorning the centre in an art-gallery style across entry points, ceiling features, seating, bathrooms, parent rooms and escalators, Delvene Cockatoo-Collins said the new design has made a commercial space into a community space.
“A lot of people have said how powerful the art display is, and how proud they are to see it – both from my own Aboriginal community, as well as non-Aboriginal people across my network,” said Delvene.
“It gives you that welcoming feeling as you walk through the centre; we have always been welcoming people and people have always gathered in places. This feels like it reflects those values.”
Drawing on a coastal motif and gentle blue hues, the designs honour the natural landscape and Quandamooka practices such as weaving and basket-making.
Delvene’s ‘Eugaries’ design is a prominent feature throughout the centre, from a timber ceiling feature in the entry void to blue toned cushion fabric in the seating pods, and artwork along the escalator walls.
“Eugaries are shells that stand up in the surf and then hit the sand and bury themselves. When the tide goes out it leaves little lumps behind.
“I love going down the escalators and looking up, as all the patterns are all around you, it mimics the experience of the Eugaries.”
The Parents Room incorporates a range of artworks including the ‘Pulan to Mulgumpin’ – depicting the local North Stradbroke Island reeds and Quandamooka waters and the journey of the Migalu Yalingbila – as well as ‘Turtles in Quandamooka Waters’ popping their heads up along Goompi – Dunwich to feed and play.
The circular seating areas provide privacy and a resting place, which Delvene said translates to ‘you are welcome, you are invited, you can sit down and rest.’
“It’s a feeling of gentleness throughout the shopping centre, it hugs you as you walk through. The team at i2C interpreted my work better than I could have imagined, my art has been protected and my work has been valued in that space – I always love working in a great team,” said Delvene.
Rod Rose, i2C Director said that Haben’s brief was to give the centre a modern, fresh feel that showcases the local environment, lands and waters.
“It was such a privilege for our team to transform Delvene’s powerful work into an architectural experience that could be shared by the community and translate the essence of Cleveland from this very unique perspective,” said Rod.
“A great deal of time was spent incorporating delicate patterning on upholstery, wallpaper and applications in the ceiling, as well as fine natural fibres in order to create an aesthetic that did the artwork justice.”