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It is not possible to appreciate the sculptural and luminous quality of Rob's work in two dimensions, such as on this website page or in an exhibition catalogue. It is highly recommended that you view the work in person.
Waratah, comes from the Eora Aboriginal word 'warada' meaning 'beautiful', and is a symbol of beauty.
The Dreamtime white waratah has entered into folk law by way of an ancient aboriginal story.
THE DREAMTIME STORY:
According to legend, the waratah got its red colour a very long time ago in the Dreamtime.
The story begins with Wonga the Pigeon who used to live in the bushland with her mate. They would spend their time on the floor of the forest gathering food and had a rule never to get out of one another's sight. They had to stay below the trees because they knew that in the land of the sky lived the Hawk - their deadly enemy. One day when Wonga and her mate were out looking for food they got separated. Wonga called out to her mate but there was no reply. After searching around the lower branches of the forest Wonga decided that the only hope of finding her mate before dark would be to fly above the trees. She flew towards the tree tops and into the clear blue sky and started calling for her mate. Eventually, Wonga found her mate way down beneath her but not before the Hawk had spotted her. He had seen Wonga and was hurtling towards her with his strong beak piercing the air. Hawk caught Wonga with a crushing grip from his great brown talons tearing her breast open as he hauled her upwards. Wonga desperately tore herself free from Hawk and plunged downwards towards the forest below. Unable to fly, she landed bleeding and broken in a patch of waratah bushes. Her blood trickled down onto one of the white waratah flowers. She tried desperately to reach her mate by dragging herself from flower to flower staining each of them a deep red with her blood as she went. Eventually, Wonga lost her battle with life and died as she lay upon the waratah bushes.
Sometimes, although very rare, it is still possible to find a white waratah just as they were back in the Dreamtime.
The flower grown and depicted in this light sculpture is the Tasmanian Waratah (Telopea truncata)
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