Genestreams Songlines Sculptures Initiative

In partnership with traditional owners, local communities and Gondwanalink the Genestreams Songlines Sculptures initiative is a nationwide project between Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, community organizations and conservation groups. The public art project unites traditional knowledge with western science and seeks to bring both indigenous and non-indigenous artists from communities together.

The vision of founding elder to the project Aunty Carol Pettersen is that the sculptures will form a national tourism trail which will increase an awareness of the importance of the song lines, ecological restoration, cultural restoration, threatened species, and how, through deep time all species are connected. To realize this vision the Genestreams Songlines Sculptures team seeks to work with communities across Australia.

We envisage neighboring communities working together to create networks of Genestreams Songlines Sculptures that celebrate their indigenous culture and the similarities and differences in their ecology and geology. We welcome participation from all communities across Australia.

The first Genestreams Songlines Sculptures was created at Twin Creeks nature reserve in partnership with Gondwana Link –

“A genestream is multi-generational. It is the sum total of a species genepool which flows through space and time. When a genestream stops flowing it means the species is extinct, if it continues to flow it will eventually become a new species, this is the way of things. As custodians of this planet its our shared responsibility to keep the genestreams flowing, not to stop them flowing. We believe that an enhanced national awareness of the songlines of the traditional owners of Australia will help us connect to the land and contribute to fostering a conservation consciousness. By bringing Genestreams on country we can help protect country. ” Ben Beeton.

The next Genestreams Songlines Sculptures opens in the Bunya Mountains in Queensland in December. With Genestreams sculptures existing in both the far south west near the Stirling Ranges and soon the Bunya Mountains we are looking to create further Genestreams sculptures with communities across Australia as part of Aunty Carol’s vision for a nation wide tourism trail. To achieve this we are interested in working with local people who will champion the initiative in their region. We are also interested in working with auspicing bodies.

There are two stages in the development of a Genestreams Sculpture.

Stage 1. Creating the art for a digital 3d model that will be featured on the Genestreams website and used to attract funding to construct the sculpture. In this process there are 3 key steps. 1 – the scientific illustrations of selected species (and possibly rocks) will be created by Ben Beeton and Mali Moir. 2 – the digital art on the ecology, geology and deep time history of the region will be researched and created by Ben Beeton. 3 – We will seek input from local artists in the form of donated digital images of their drawings of plants, animals or landscapes of the local region to feature in the artwork. In this short film you will see an example of the art and the 3d digital model created for the first Genestreams sculpture.

Stage 2. Constructing the Genestreams sculpture. Here are films of the Genestreams sculpture at Twin Creeks.

The Genestreams Songlines Sculptures initiative will have ambassadors in each state and territory. Our Western Australian ambassadors are Carol Pettersen, professor Steve Hopper and Dr Noal Nannup.


“There is a wide spectrum of artistic detail and style in the work, it reflects the biodiversity of our population and talks to hope and a positive future, for the artists and landscape”.   Liz Jack