State Library of South Australia

Foyer artwork

The artists, Kay Lawrence and John Nowland designed this multi faceted artwork to be experienced spatially, moving over, under and around the elements. It offers different insights over time as visitors re-experience the work at different times. (Entry artwork supported by Arts SA).

The artworks feature textile metaphors and processes which have an inseparable connection to the transmission of knowledge in most cultures. Thread, yarn, string, nets, webs and weaving are metaphors for story telling and narrative, linking the oral and textual to the material. These texts and textiles suggest ways of transmitting knowledge particularly appropriate to this space, re-built on Kaurna land at the beginning of the twenty first century.

Kaurna greeting stone

Kaurna greeting stone

The Kaurna greeting message at the entrance to the library was prepared by Kaurna elder Lewis O'Brian of Adelaide. It has been carved in a spiral design in a large slab of bluestone from Kanmantoo in South Australia. 

"Munara ngai wanggandi marni na budni Kaurna yertaanna, worttangga marni na budni State Library of South Australia. Ngaityo yungandalya ngaityo yakkanandalga padliadlu wadu."

~ Kaurna elder Lewis O'Brien

Translation: First I welcome you all to my Kaurna country, and next I welcome you to the State Library of South Australia. My brothers, my sisters, let's walk together in harmony.


Bulkhead text

The relief text on the entry bulkhead uses words from an essay by Kiera Lindsey:

Bulkhead text - we speak read and write ourselves into being
"We speak, read and write ourselves into being"

The text refers to the role of language in the construction of both the self and society:

"Language in all its forms, speech, sign and text, not only enables communication and the transmission of knowledge, but also plays a key role in how we construct our sense of who we are as individuals and as a society"

~ Words by Kiera Lindsey 'Creative Cartographies. Notes on an interview with Paul Carter,' in Siglo number 4.


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