In The World Turns, Michael Parekowhai casts a small native water rat, the kuril, in the role of hero. Along with the traditional Aboriginal custodians, the kuril is one of the caretakers of the land upon which the Gallery and this sculpture stand. The kuril is intrinsically linked to the mangroves that weave around the Kurilpa Point shoreline, which feed it and provide it with shelter, and that these trees, with their strong tentacle-like roots, are the source of nourishment for a diverse ecology.
Here, the kuril is planted firmly on the ground, going about its business, even though it has shifted the world – represented by a large, upturned elephant – from its axis. The chair is an invitation to sit and contemplate this remarkable feat.
The World Turns reminds us that history is often recorded to highlight specific moments, but, as the world turns, there are many other stories – and these are central to our understanding of history.
This project received financial assistance from the Queensland Government through art+place Queensland Public Art Fund, and from the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation.