Wood, metal, paint, eucalyptus leaf, glue, metal screws
350 x 200 x 20cm
Image: Keith Maxwell
Language is the most fundamental element of all cultures; it forms a person’s identity with oral history, customs and valuable knowledge embedded in one’s mother tongue. My artwork aims to raise awareness at a grass roots level of the intrinsic value in keeping languages alive and the invaluable resource that they are to us all.
Although my work has originated from personal experience – a first generation Australian not taught to speak the native language of my immigrant parents – it has a global message. Keeping languages alive is imperative to everyone including the preservation of the remaining Indigenous Australian languages.
My artwork is a mixed media installation in the form of the English letter ‘Y’, chosen as there is no letter Y in my parents’ mother tongue and conversely when pronounced by the viewer they are active participants in asking “why” languages disappear.
The ubiquitous eucalyptus tree flourishes all over the world. Its’ leaf adorns this work and represents the hope that we can also keep the native languages of both Indigenous and non Indigenous Australians alive and thriving.