Tree of Knowledge
This artwork was painted for the University of Western Sydney in support of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education initiatives. It provides an Aboriginal perspective of education at the University of Western Sydney and it is about the university, what they do and where they are situated.
These large ancient trees were highly regarded and met many needs of our people. Beneath the large branches was the traditional place for learning and knowledge sharing. They were a source of food, fruit, nuts, seeds, clothing, shade, shelter, building materials and even some natural medicines. In the centre of the painting is the Tree of Knowledge which is at the centre of Aboriginal Education. Set under the cool branches, learning takes place, the telling of stories, learning song and dance. This is where we learn about our culture, country, lore and people as well as make artefacts and or decorate personal items. This is why it is the Tree of Knowledge.
Each of the small circles with trees represents the six University of Western Sydney campuses, Parramatta, Bankstown, Campbelltown, Penrith, Hawkesbury and Nirimba. The trees are surrounded by yellow with green dots and represents people associated with learning. Yellow ochre and white along with green dots then red ochre represent the buildings and places of learning. The U shape is a traditional representation of a person and is utilised in the painting to represent students. The square shape between students represents books, computers and electronic learning tools.
Our environmental campuses are represented by the many different shades of green in the painting and are all connected by motorways and highways which students and staff use to travel to and from university. The small circles without trees represent the cities and suburbs where students reside that attend courses at UWS. The Parramatta River is on the left hand side and Hawkesbury Nepean is on the right hand side with the Cox’s River to Warragamba. The blue represents the water surrounded by yellow dots, which represent the sand banks.
Artist credit: Mrs Janice Bruny
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours)
Honours Class 1