Castellano and Cole, who graduated from RMIT in 2018, engaged with Indigenous elders over the course of a semester to produce the artwork.
Castellano said she always looked for work with purpose and meaning.
“It's really exciting and special to show my family and also to think about how many people come past here and will see the artwork,” Castellano said.
She said one of the challenges was working out how to create an artwork on such a large scale.
“It was tricky managing files sizes and working out how much detail needed to be in it, because it covers so much space.”
The final work was created using a variety of techniques, including hand-generated art and photography, assembled in photoshop before being printed and installed at the library on the corner of Swanston and La Trobe streets, opposite the entrance to RMIT’s City campus.
Cole said it was beautiful to see how it has all came together.
“It's quite indescribable how I am feeling now, seeing our shared connections and where we've come from,” she said.
"I'm so grateful to have worked on this and it's been such a privilege and an honour to hear Aunty Caroline's stories."
Dean of School of Fashion and Textiles Professor Robyn Healy said the initiative was a significant opportunity for students to grow their skills and understanding of place through a major multi-disciplinary project.
“These multi-layered designs of the meandering Yarra River really show a thinking through Country, sharing knowledges and different archives, anticipating 'what happens next',” Healy said.
“It's exciting that our students, through this industry partnership, can share their work that represents contemporary Australia on such an iconic building.”
The project was part of a collaboration between RMIT and the State Library of Victoria, with a design research team led by Associate Professor Brad Haylock, Grace Leone and Dr Jan van Schaik.