• Terry Yumbulul's floor mosaic. (Facebook)Source: Facebook
Yolngu Elder and Warramiri Tribal Chief Terry Yumbulul is concerned for the future of his artwork on display of the floor of the Bondi Pavilion.
Keira Jenkins

4 Feb 2020 - 11:12 AM  UPDATED 4 Feb 2020 - 11:13 AM

Yolngu Elder and Warramiri Tribal Chief Terry Yumbulul is concerned about the future of his mosaic on the floor of Bondi Pavilion, which is due to undergo restoration works in May.

A spokesperson for Mr Yumbulul said the Northern Territory artist visited the Pavilion in Sydney and followed up with a call to the local Waverley Council, expressing his concern.

"We were first made aware of the renovations through a friend, who knew Terry was the artist and that it was planned to be removed," the spokesperson told NITV News.

"We explained the cultural importance of the mosaic and discussed the possibility to leave the mosaic where it is and to amend the proposed floor plans to have a new wall shifted back so it doesn't disturb the mosaic."

Waverley Council said they are currently "discussing options for repairing and retaining the mosaic" with Mr Yumbulul.

"Council is aware that for cultural reasons it may not be possible to move the mosaic from its current location," a council spokesperson said in a statement to NITV News.

"Options for retention of the mosaic in its current setting are being developed at present."

Mr Yumbulul designed the mosaic, assisted by artists Lloyd Kellerman and Justin Robson, after exhibiting at the pavilion in the 1980s.

Mr Yumbulul's spokesperson said the artist still does not know the final plans for the mosaic and is waiting to hear back from Waverley Council.

"Ideally we would like for the mosaic to remain where it is and have the architects build it into the final plan," said the Yumbulul family spokesperson.

The mosaic covers the floor area, wall to wall, of the passage leading from the central courtyard to the atrium of the pavilion.

The development application for the pavilion restoration project was approved in December 2019 and the restoration work is set to start in May.

EXCLUSIVE: Yolngu Warramiri Tribal Chief provides signed statement to NITV News
EXCLUSIVE: Yolngu Elder and Warramiri Tribal Chief Terry Yumbulul issues his signed statement in relation to a letter published in the blog of News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt and falsely attributed to his name.