Matriarch Matilda is a set of two artworks which tell a story about the life achievements of one of the first settlers of this area, Matilda Elizabeth Bennett (1804-1870). Matilda was the wife of John Septimus Roe, a successful and recognised explorer. The suburb, Bennett Springs, was also named after her.
The artwork on this eastern wall was inspired by the only known image of Matilda’s face. This image was used as a base for the artist to create an abstract image of Matilda’s facial features, made up of over 250 different sized and coloured triangles. A section of her face is missing, signifying her strong connection to her often absent explorer husband.
This artwork celebrates the role of mothers in our past, present and in the future.
The artwork on the western wall, is a graphical interpretation of Matilda's life :
Childrens tree, Matilda Elizabeth Bennett as a mother and bearer of thirteen children over a 30 year period.
The height of the building represents her life length (66 years), with the distance from the ground to the pointy end of each teardrop representing Matilda’s age when each child was born. The size of each teardrop is proportional to the lifespan of the child.