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National Museum of Australia

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'Boyi Moort's (Turtle Families)', Peter Farmer and Kim Fitzpatrick, 2014

2015.0050.0001

'Boyi Moort's (Turtle Families)', Peter Farmer and Kim Fitzpatrick, 2014

Object information

Description

This surfboard was created by Noongar artist Peter Farmer and non-Indigenous glass artist Kim Fitzpatrick. Farmer and Fitzpatrick met on a Perth Heritage Day weekend where people are given the opportunity to experience the heritage, works and histories of people in the city. Drawn together by their love of the sea, they began talking about creating an artistic collaboration.

The turtle design on this surfboard represents Farmer's memories and connections to Noongar country, families and culture. Of this artwork Farmer says, 'When I was a young boy living in the country, we used to swim in the rivers, and in the ocean at Busselton and Albany. When we swam, we would see if we could see any turtles, a strong and significant totem in my father's country. There were always turtles (boyi)? surrounded by their families. When I surfaced after holding my breath as long as possible, the water from my hair would hit the surface and form golden ripples reflected from the sun's rays. 'Boyi Moort' (turtle families) is a visual depiction of my time in the water with the turtles and a representation of my Noongar families'.

Physical description

A sculpture made of carved wood in the shape of a surfboard inset with infused coloured glass. The glass consists of three long panels with curved edges each varying in size. There are two round pieces of glass inserted horizontally to one another at the outer edge of the three glass panels. The infused glass is of different shades of green, blue and purple, with wavey lines and eleven turtles illustrated throughout the glass. The wavey lines and turtles are outlined in gold and black paint.

Statement of significance

This surfboard was made in a collaboration between Noongar artist Peter Farmer and glass artist Kim Fitzpatrick in 2014. It is a contemporary carved surfboard artwork titled 'Boyi Moort' (Turtle Families). It is made from locally sourced jarrah with cut outs in the surfboard filled with glass. The glass is painted and shows turtles swimming in blue and green water. The design used on the surfboard represents Farmer's memories and his connections to Noongar country, families and culture. The turtle is a significant totem in his father's country.

Noongar country extends across south-western Western Australia, from Geraldton to Esperance. Following early contact with European explorers and sealers, the first sustained encounter between Noongar people and Europeans began with the establishment of settlements at King George's Sound in 1826 and the Swan River colony in 1829. As the colony grew, traditional resources were depleted and access to those resources and traditional lands became increasingly restricted. Today the Perth metropolitan area is home to the largest Indigenous community in Western Australia, with the Perth Noongar the most prominent. Through family-based social connections, the Noongar maintain a strong cultural identity. Contemporary Noongar art is a distinctive art practice that has evolved as a result of European intervention and the removal and separation of Noongar people from their traditional lands and culture. The influence of the Carrolup tradition that emerged from the Carrolup mission during the 1940s can often be seen in contemporary Noongar artwork.

Object information

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