Manly Foreshore Transformed into Living Canvas of Light and Local Lore

With the unveiling of its stunning new artwork, “From the Hills to the Bay,” Manly Harbour Village is illuminating its shoreline with a vivid celebration of Indigenous heritage and local coastal life.



Created by artist Delvene Cockatoo-Collins, the series of light projections weaves together the natural history of the area with community stories, casting a mesmerizing glow upon the waterfront.


Cockatoo-Collins, who engaged the community in a twine-making workshop to gather stories and inspiration, has crafted four distinct projection series. Each series comprises four individual designs, painting a multifaceted portrait of Manly’s unique character.

Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council

The “Tawalpin” series pays homage to the beach hibiscus tree, known as “tawalpin” in the Jandai language. This coastal tree has been a vital resource for the local Indigenous people, providing materials for spear-making, twine, and even children’s play. The series captures the essence of this intertwined relationship between humans and nature, depicting leaves, nets, fish, and the act of twine-making itself.

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Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council

The “Quandamooka Sea Life” series dives into the rich marine ecosystem of the Quandamooka waters. The return of the dugong, or “yungan,” and the playful presence of turtles, or “bunbiya,” are celebrated in luminous detail. This series serves as a reminder of the delicate balance of the local environment and the importance of preserving it for future generations.

Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council

“Along the Foreshore” looks at the intricate ecosystems that thrive along Manly’s shoreline. The clicking of fiddler crabs, the protective embrace of mangroves, and the delectable kinyingarra oysters are all brought to life through mesmerising projections. This series highlights the interconnectedness of all living things, from the smallest crab to towering mangroves.


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Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council

Finally, “From the Hills to the Bay” encapsulates the essence of Manly’s landscape, tracing the journey from the lush hills down to the water’s edge. The iconic Moreton Bay fig trees, the majestic sea eagle, or “mirrigimpa,” and the graceful black swan all appear. This series is a testament to the area’s natural beauty and the enduring spirit of its wildlife.



The slow rotation of the projections adds a dynamic element to the artwork, simulating the ebb and flow of tides and the gentle caress of the wind. The result is a meditative and interactive experience that transforms Manly Harbour Village into an enchanting nighttime destination.

This innovative project, a product of the Manly Harbour Village Precinct Project, stands as a shining example of how art can enrich public spaces and foster a deeper connection to the environment and cultural heritage of a place.

Published Date 28-June-2024