Historical information

Murrup Laarr translates as 'Ancestral Stones' in Wadawurrung. This artwork by Dr Deanne Gilson is located in the North Gardens Indigenous Sculpture Park. The park is a significant project for the City of Ballarat and features works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, celebrating the richness and diversity of culture and telling important cultural stories. Dr Deanne Gilson is a Wadawarrung Traditional Custodian and established artist. She installed the first artwork commissioned by the City of Ballarat for the Sculpture Park in early 2019. Murrup Laarr is a contemporary artwork consisting of a traditionally-built stone hut in the middle of a circle of basalt standing stones, marked with ceramic plates reflecting the stories and symbols of dreaming, memory, ceremony.


The artwork is of aesthetic and cultural, social and spiritual significance to the people of Ballarat and to Wadawurrung people

Physical description

A traditional hut made from river stone and stacked rocks, with the hut surrounded by large basalt rocks with plaques featuring unique designs on stoneware plates imbedded into them.

Inscriptions & markings

Murrup Laarr (Ancestral Stones), 2019 /
By Deanne Gilson /
Wadawurrung people have always used stones to mark places of ceremony and important business. The stones are the holders of memory and knowledge, Country and Spirit. They mark the cosmos and seasons. They follow the sun, marking the summer and winter solstice, important dates for planting and harvesting and telling stories of past, present and future. /
The stones are alive and still present. Murrup Laar has been created using local basalt stones to tell Wadawurrung stories of dreaming, memory and ceremony. /
“Creating Murrup Laarr (Ancestral Stones) at this time has placed Aboriginal people and practices back on Country and created a place to tell our stories. I am very honoured to have had this opportunity. An Aboriginal stone circle existed in Ballarat pre-colonisation; by putting back what was lost throughout colonisation I pay homage to my ancestors, past, present and emerging”/
– Deanne Gilson, March 2019