Wrapped Perth café tells a local Noongar story

May 30, 2023

A new outdoor café in Perth’s Burswood Park recently opened adorning stunning artwork by Western Australian Noongar artist, Linda Loo.

Bilya Café sits on the land of the Noongar people on Whadjuk Country, beside the Swan River. In Noongar language, ‘bilya’ means ‘river’. Local elder, Bruce Loo, who worked with Crown to research this historically significant name for the café, brought on board Noongar artist, Linda Loo, to create  artwork to tell the story of Bilya Café’s place and history. Her artwork, Our River Our Meeting Place, draws on the meaning of the location to her ancestors and its continuing significance now.

Copyright Agency facilitated a licensing agreement with Crown Perth on behalf of Lindo Loo for this new artwork commissioned as a full wrap around the café façade. Copyright Agency’s licence ensures the artwork is protected and that Linda Loo receives a fair licensing fee, while visitors to the café benefit from admiring her art.

Artwork by Linda Loo, Our River, Our Meeting Place, 2023 © Linda Loo/Copyright Agency, 2023. Photo courtesy of Crown Perth.

Since she joined as a member two years ago we’ve worked closely with Linda Loo, licensing her artwork for other projects including branding, uniforms and reports. Linda came to Copyright Agency, trusting us to negotiate the contract, terms and fees on her behalf to best protect and celebrate her artwork for this use.

Linda Loo is a Noongar woman, born in Corrigin and connected to the Balladong/Whadjuk clans of Noongar Nation. She grew up in the Kalgoorlie area before moving to Perth. Linda is a self-taught artist who began painting at the age of 37 as part of her journey to self-healing.

Of her artwork Our River Our Meeting Place, Linda says, “The artwork represents the connection of people to the Swan River. It also represents my ancestors and the waterways that they walked along many years ago. My granny as I call her, I was lucky enough to have known her. I still remember some of the stories about going down to the water. I can now say that I can follow her footsteps and hopefully I’ve walked on the land that she’s walked on. When people see my artwork, I hope they take away a lot of enjoyment, and understanding of Aboriginal history”.

You can read Linda Loo’s story of Our River Our Meeting Place here.

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