Meet our Orana community artist: Shlomit Moria

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Community is at the heart of every element at Orana. From its interconnected design and tight-knit neighbourhood feel, to the shared facilities and local amenities. Balcon Group’s vision was to create a place where people would feel at home and connected.

Our focus has always been on creating community and involving locals in bringing it to life, which was why we wished to infuse meaningful character into Orana through unique artworks. From our perspective, art celebrates life and makes for a culturally rich and inclusive community. This represents the value we place on individuality at Orana, where all perspectives, cultures and diversities are not only welcome but embraced.

To reflect these values, we commissioned two Victorian artists to bring their unique styles, backgrounds and inspiration to our community. Their work brought a depth and spirit that reflected the vision we wanted to weave into Orana’s rich foundations. 

One of those artists is Shlomit Moria. A former graphic designer, Shlomit decided five years ago that it was time to pursue her dream of carving wood for a living. Born in Israel, she came to Australia in 2003 and now maintains her dream job, with her husband and two teenage children. 

Shlomit is the artist behind the endearing and beloved carved wombat sculptures you may have seen at our sales centre and coming soon to the Orana Park! In addition to the treasured wombats Shlomit has also crafted several owls and toadstools which you will find in Orana Park. These lovely creatures are the perfect addition to Orana as they connect the community to the original fauna of the land it exists upon, creating a sense of discovery and encouraging an ongoing love and respect for the environment around them.

We recently had the pleasure of chatting to Shlomit about her wonderful Orana masterpieces.

How did this opportunity with the Orana community come about?

SM: I was lucky enough to be introduced to the community through Anna and Mark from Fitzgerald Frisby Landscape Architecture. Angela and Jason from Balcon Group then came to my workshop to meet me in person, and we’ve have had a very good connection since. 

What inspired your artwork for Orana? 

SM: The nature around me is my biggest source of inspiration. I love the local wildlife and am forever fascinated by it.

What is the message you hope to convey with your piece?

SM: In a world where everybody is so focused on their screens, I try to bring some nature to daily life. My sculptures are not only of wildlife animals, but they are also made of local wood that was sourced sustainably. To touch it and to see it is to realise that nature is here all around us and is taking care of us.

How would you describe your artistic style, and what inspiration do you normally draw from?

SM: I think that a lot of my style draws from my experience as a graphic designer. I design my pieces on paper first and consider the natural material I work with as well as my theme. I try to give each piece its time to develop and be the very best it can be.

I am inspired by everything: nature, random shapes and people, and I wish I had time to bring to life all the ideas that are in my mind.

How long did it take to complete your wonderful Orana art project? 

SM: This project took me about 4 months to complete.

You can view Shlomit Moria’s wonderful work in our very own Orana community, or follow @bushwoodcreations on Instagram to see more of her beautiful wooden creatures.