NGURRUYAN (Sweet) by Arkie Barton

Monday 07 December 2020 - Monday 01 February 2021

Arkie Barton's work NGURRUYAN (Sweet) installed on the Collingwood Town Hall. Photo by Mark Burnley.

Kalkadoon Bidjara artist Arkie Barton who works locally in Richmond has created bold and colourful artworks to adorn the façade of the Collingwood Town Hall over the festive season.

These artworks showcase her distinct style and acknowledge the rich Aboriginal history of Yarra; and the continuing connection that the community has with this area today.

Fitzroy, Collingwood and surrounds are historically significant for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. It is a meeting place; the cradle of Aboriginal affairs; the heart of social and political activism; the birthplace of important Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services and organisations; and the place where many Stolen Generations found family for the first time.Ngurruyan—meaning ‘sweet’ in Arkie Barton’s traditional Kalkadoon language—has been created in bright, candied colours and contemporary Indigenous symbolism.

The artwork reflects the history of this place as somewhere Aboriginal people come together to share, socialise, sing a song and celebrate culture. The symbolism is derived from Kalkadoon motifs for gathering places and meeting spots; it is a representation of what this area has always been and continues to be for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The colour palette—a range of bright, vibrant, candy colours—brightens up the grey austere building and references the sweet treats, baubles and candy cane associated with the festive season. The clean, bright and strong graphic lines and shapes referencing Barton’s Indigenous heritage, provide a platform for everyone, of all ages and backgrounds to engage with and experience contemporary Aboriginal art.


Arkie Barton is an emerging artist, textile and fashion designer, currently living in Naarm/Melbourne. Arkie is a proud Kalkadoon Bidjara woman, who draws from her Aboriginal heritage to create beautiful contemporary pieces across multiple disciplines. She has often collaborated with other creatives, and has presented a number of solo and group exhibitions nationally, building up to her current diversification of creative practice. Arkie the Label was created in 2015 as a platform for mainstream Australia to engage with contemporary Aboriginal culture through an inclusive and accessible creative form—fashion.  


NGURRUYAN (Sweet) by Arkie Barton

Collingwood Town Hall

Date and time:
24 hours
Monday 07 December 2020 - Monday 01 February 2021

140 Hoddle Street, Abbotsford