Artist Camp #2: March 2015
Artist Camp #2 opened with a Welcome to country by Uncle Lex. The first day was for community members to come together, reflect on the history and share ideas for the future. Muru Mittigar and architecture student Linda Kennedy provided professional insight and perspective on the site. Koori Radio broadcast live from the site throughout the day, while the artists began preparations for starting their artworks.
On Sunday the artists included the public in the creation of their artworks. Karla Dickens using fabric to tie the words “Loving Memory” to the fence, the Jungah Weavers taught stringy bark rope weaving, Darren Bell took portraits of each visitor to the site and Leanne Tobin created a spiral work It Starts Here Now.
The ground spiral starts at the centre and radiates outwards.
It refers to the advent of the institutionalisation and the wide-spread ongoing ‘ripple’ effect on our people, as they are forced to assimilate into the new world imposed on them.
As a healing, the spiral also alludes back to the weaving technique of the collecting baskets woven by the Traditional women along the East coast and handed down through many generations.
The use of wood-chips on top of the ground gives evidence to what happened here: the mass destruction and clearing of the bushland to make way for farming.
Green gum leaves are traditionally used for healing and cleansing in smoking ceremonies and dance. The leaves here, are laid down on top of the woodchips by community members, as a gesture to friendship, unity and healing while also acknowledging and cleansing the pain of the past.
Leanne Tobin, 2015