• Seaman chiropractic mural wall

The mural depicts an interpretation of the Ngarrindjeri story of Waatji Pulyeri. We see the majestic majestic Pondi Murray River Cod, two versions of Wuldi the eagle, Nori the pelican, and of course cheeky Waatji Pulyeri the blue wren.

For several years we have discussed having a mural painted on our clinic. We began with a concept of “healing” since that is a large part of the underlying philosophy of Chiropractic. In recent years we have also developed an interest in indigenous art and storytelling, and the conversation around reconciliation with our first nations people and our past. It seemed that the two concepts shared a common thread of healing, and so we were keen to have a first nations story told that was relevant and inclusive for the Loxton community.
Artist and friend Jarrod Loxton was instrumental in developing the collaboration with Shane Karpany. Shane is a local Ngarrindjeri man who is a fabulous storyteller and artist. We loved the idea of combining indigenous art with Jarrod’s realism to tell a first nations story. After many hours of writing, conversations, consultation and advice, we submitted a grant application to Country Arts SA and were absolutely thrilled when we were successful!
Jarrod was again a key driver in making the mural happen, with many hours of planning, preparation and behind-the-scenes work going on before the mural was painted over three days.
We officially opened the mural to our community on Saturday 18th May 2024, with words from Mayor Trevor Norton, a wonderful Welcome to Country by Aunty Sheryl Giles, and the story of Waatji Pulyeri told by Shane Karpany. The Rotary club of Loxton prepared delicious egg and bacon sandwiches with all food donated by local businesses. We also enjoyed a small art exhibition in the Loxcare Community Hub, with photos by Sharon Casey and artwork by Jarrod and Shane on display.
We would like to acknowledge and thank Country Arts SA for funding the artists for the mural. We received many letters of support when submitting our grant proposal, and we thank those organisations.
Getting a project like this off the ground also takes generous support from our local community. The Official Opening would not have been possible without the support of:

The Country Bakehouse
Rotary Loxton
Loxton Waikerie Council
Kochs Foodland
Sharon Casey
Woolworths Loxton
Sheryl Giles

The story of Waatji Pulyeri

When discussing what first nations story related to the Murray River could be told in the mural, Shane immediately told us of the story of Waatji Pulyeri, the blue wren. The origins of the story are Ngarrindjeri, and is told in detail by Uncle Barney Lindsay in the book “Ngarrindjeri Dreaming Stories” with paintings by Jacob Stengle.

Shane retold the story to us, and it went something like this:

It begins a long time ago when all the river birds were happy and getting on together. One day the birds started commenting on their own best features.  Muldari the magpie thought his feathers were really pretty, Turtitauwithe white cockatoo thought his shiny feathers were superior, Kierdi the blue heron thought his legs were long and beautiful and Wanyi the mountain duck thought his eyes were so colourful.  All the birds joined in, and soon there was an argument about who had the best feathers, legs, beaks and song.

All the yelling woke up old Koruldambi, the owl. After hearing what the argument was about, he said the great creator had made them all different anyway, but they could have a competition as to who could fly the highest.

Wuldi eagle Jarrod

Wuldi – Eagle

Muldari the magpie took off first and soared up towards the clouds, going flat and straight. Daldauwi the crow also flew like Muldari. Yoldi the cormorant circled and twisted higher than both Muldari and Daldauwi before coming down. Turtitauwi the white cockatoo and all the parrots didn’t fly much higher than the trees, then Kungari the swan flew very high.

Waatji Pulyeri was watching and thought all the birds were doing all the hard work, but he had a plan. He snuck behind a bush near to where the birds were taking off and waited until there was just Wuldi the eagle and Nori the pelican left. The eagle flew higher and higher, catching an air pocket way up high. When he landed again, all the birds cheered as Wuldi had flown the highest.

Wuldi – Eagle

Nori the pelican said I will show you and took off with his huge flapping wings.  Little Waatji Pulyeri the blue wren, snuck in under Nori’s wings, holding on to Nori’s feathers with his beak, and caught a free ride.

Nori flew higher than Wuldi the eagle and thought I am the winner. Just then Waatji Pulyeri darted up into the air from under Nori’s wings, and declared he was the highest and was the winner!

Waatji Pulyeri – Blue Wren

Nori chased him down to the ground. Waatji Pulyeri declared he was the winner to the other birds and they all cheered. Nori then told them what Waatji Pulyeri had done, cheating his way to a free ride. The other birds were angry and they chased the blue wren away, pecking at him and telling him they didn’t want him around.

Little Waatji Pulyeri hid in a bush, and to this day, that is where the blue wren lives.  He stays in the bush because he is frightened of the other birds, and only flies up to look around and then darts back to the safety of the bush.

Nori – Pelican

Pondi – Murray River Cod

  • Official opening of the mural

    18th May 2024
    (L to R) Shane Karpany, Sheryl Giles, Lynley Seaman, Ryan Seaman, Jarrod Loxton, Mayor Trevor Norton
    Image: Michelle Gray

    Time Lapse video

Official opening of the mural – 18th May 2024.

(L to R) Shane Karpany, Sheryl Giles, Lynley Seaman, Ryan Seaman, Jarrod Loxton, Mayor Trevor Norton. Image: Michelle Gray