Well, it took me a while... I guess I justed wanted to keep that sacred space for myself for a little while. Just like a bubble of bliss would keep me floating around.
The camp brought together 15 artists to create, play, discuss, learn and to be inspired. We had the privilege to work with mentors extraordinaire such as Gordon Hookey and Laurie Nilsen. Rick Roser initiated us to privitive skills and materials to use in our artwork in a creative manner. Libby Harward and Alicia Jones' guidance held the space for us to open up to new challenges and pour our overlwhelming joy into the work. I will be forever grateful for my new found friend Jo-Anne Driessens for the magic orchestrated to make this happen not only in excellence but in a loving and harmonious way. Thanks to Hague Best for being so generous in sharing traditional knowledge of the First People and to his partner and family for the amazing food prepared for us all week.
Please Note that each picture, if you travel the cursor on top, will tell a story or a name.
Mentors and camp staff
Our gracious omnipresent camp
Senior Arts & Culture Project Officer
Alicia Melonie Jones
mentor - TEACHERS
Gordon Hookey was born in Cloncurry, Queensland in 1961. He currently lives and works in Brisbane. Hookey belongs to the Waanyi people and locates his art at the interface where Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal cultures converge. He explicitly attacks the establishment and implicates our current political representatives. His style and approach is distinctive in its vibrancy and best known for its biting satire of Australia’s political landscape, its leaders and representatives. Hookey's work combines figurative characters, iconic symbols, bold comic-like text, and a spectrum of vibrant colours. Through this idiosyncratic visual language he has developed a unique and immediately recognisable style. Hookey’s perspective comes from a divergent, activist positioning – his work challenges hierarchies, skewering the status and integrity of the ‘elite’, while working to bolster the position of the marginalised and oppressed. Hookey is a core member of Brisbane-based Indigenous collective proppaNOW alongside fellow artists including Richard Bell, Vernon Ah Kee and Jennifer Herd. His work is held in major collections within Australia including the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art and University of Queensland Art Museum in Brisbane in Brisbane, Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth, National Gallery of Australia and Australian National University in Canberra, National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, University of Technology in Sydney and a number of significant private collections. - Text from Milani Gallery website
The workshops with Gordon Hookey have made a very significant impression on bettering my understanding of concept, research, intention. Boxes and boxes of his personal diaries and sketch books were available to understand his artistic process, and the fertile ground where they originated from.
Here are a few photos of the great and brilliant fellaw!
Laurie has created with every existing material I think... ;) everything he touchs turns into powerful statements in the most esthetic manner. During camp, he guided us through the experience of sculpting with cement, Concreation at its best!
Laurie from Manadandanji country, trained in the graphic arts and uses drawing, painting and sculptural mediums. The artist often features works with barbed wire encompassing cultural, political and environmental concerns. Although most of his work tackles issues that concern Aboriginal people, he recognises these concerns also affect non-Aboriginal people. Laurie was a foundation member of the Campfire Group Artists in the early 1990s and currently works with the proppaNOW Collective. Laurie has been the recipient of numerous art awards including winning the 2007 Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award for 3D work. His work is held in numerous private and public collections and, in 1988, Laurie was one of the first ‘urban’ Aboriginal artists to have work acquired by the National Gallery of Australia. Excerpt from the Gallery Fireworks' website.
Rick was born in Brisbane 1955, and grew up with his younger brother and three sisters travelling and working beside his parents in the 60's as field workers in rural and Nth.Queensland. His Grandmother and father were Aboriginal from Bigambul country on the Qld/NSW border.
What pure joy to have the privilege to play with ochres, fibers, resins and sharp rocks, they way the first people used to make tools, keep warm, cook and made art. I enjoyed the workshops with Rick, as some of you may know, this kind of activity speaks to my soul, and nurtures my quench for raw, traditional knowledge and practice.
Here are a few shots:
Here is the name of the artists who took part in the camp. I feel blessed to have had the privilege to cross their path and shared some very special time with them, creating, bonding, connecting!
Alara Cameron, Mark Cora, Colin Appo, Rebecca Ray, Claire Freeman, Lystra Bisschop, Ronda Sharpe, Sonja Carmichael, Will Probert, Sylvia Nakachi and myself as a first International Metis guest.
Artists at work and wandering about
On thursday, we welcomed people from the arts industry, from curators, to gallery owners and council. We had prepared a special arrival ceremony to draw special attention to the notions of first people, assimilation, trade and respect... A special protocol was put in place to bring reflexion and awareness.
Some projects I have been working on
The camp experience was truly transforming for me.
Never have i been exposed to so many different art forms, learning new skills and techniques. We found a snake sneaking on the bathroom alley the first night of our arrival. As i was going through every day born again with new knowledge and more assurance, i felt i was somehow, shedding old skins, layers and concepts such as, seeing myself as a painter... but arent we more if we allow ourselves to try other things?
So I decide to work with the concept of shedding old patterns and most of the workshops I attended served as ways to learn and create steps and parts of that sculpture that i completed on the last day.
I would like to thank the City of Gold Coast Council for this invitation to join the South Stradbroke Artist Camp this year.
I also want to acknowledge that it was such a unique experience to be able to connect with the culture and histories of the Yugambeh Language region and being guided by their descendants who continue to connect and share the waters and land with the Quandamooka people. The space that is dedicated to deliver the camp is such s privilege to learn on.
Thanks to the Canada Arts Council, I have been able to make this dream come true, for the travel grant they have allowed me to benefit. I am coming home with so much to share and a project to realise in the continuity of this amazing project I had the privilege to undertake.