Paola Balla's Moondani Balluk design shows the embodying relationship between the University and Moondani Balluk, and the meaning of 'embracing people' – being embraced by VU.
Paola Balla is a Wemba-Wemba and Gunditjmara woman who is an award winning visual artist, highly commended curator and sought-after community cultural development practitioner, speaker, facilitator and writer.
The overall design, colour and shape are evocative of the western metropolitan region landscape and waterways.
The shape of the main piece of the artwork has dual meanings.
The outside lines are the shapes of boomerangs which represent the return of knowledge or inquiry to the community from the University and from the community to the University.
The second meaning shows the shape of an eel, a rich and plentiful food source of the Woiwurrung (Wurundjeri) and Boonwurrung peoples – as seen by the eel traps and woven eel baskets used by the traditional owners of land along the Maribyrnong.
The line designs contained within the main piece represent Woiwurrung and Boonwurrung land, culture, law and connection as continual.
The 2 “bora ring” shapes (containing six circles) represent Indigenous knowledge and show the context of imaginative inquiry, excellence and equality, which are values of the University, and also show the vision of Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit of access, respect and justice and our relationship to land, culture, Elders and lore.
Paola’s design is displayed on the windows of the VUHQ, Building M entrance at the Footscray Park campus. The informative display takes elements from the original art piece and turns them into graphical motifs.