COMING TOGETHER AFTER SIX MONTHS OF INCUBATION, CREATION AND INTROSPECTION.
The event at HOTA allowed South Strabroke Artist Camp Mob to express, validate, and confirm the powerful transformative effect of such a venue. Our lives are changed and paths made clearer with the opportunity to immerse in Country, unite and relate to realities that we share as artist, first nation and people with intentions of cocreation towards a better world.
Circles were common throughout installations, art pieces and discourses. We speak the same language, basically, i feel we all want the same thing. Balance, equality and harmony in all of our relations.
HOTA is situated in Gold Coast, we were designated spaces in a beautiful park along the Nerang river and right by a beautiful laguna to jump right in when the heat was too much. Average of 32 degrees, a bit of smoke from the surrounding fires.
We each had the privilege of comfort under large shady trees that also served as means of hanging sculpures and artworks. I created an installation of 4 totems (basic stylized snake shapes located at the four cardinal directions hanging over a simple medicine wheel. The stones were found by Hague Best, Yugambeh keeper of knowledge and traditions, land surrounding Gold Coast, Stradbroke and the Nerang river. Hope i am not mistaking here Jo-Anne ;). Each direction was created in honour of my native ancestors and my Cree teachers, who made such a big impact in my life. They dance like family, reminding me of mine. I am grateful for the lessons that are brought to me as life is walking me through time along with the most wonderful teachers, foremost, my own children and all the people who walked along with me.
The snake sculpture is at the center of the medicine wheel and four directions, symbolizing the capacity to shed old skins, beliefs, patterns and the un-necessary in our lives. It came to me at the camp, it is still working on me.
The idea behing the construction of my totems was to create balance between strenght and fluidity. They are stronger than i imagined. Each one wears a dreamcatcher of a different color of the medicine wheel; white(north), red(west), yellow(east) and black(south) they were made from ochre and acrylic paints. The dreamcatchers filters the events and energies coming through.
I had a table next to me and presented there, my portfolio full of this summers prints, collages and cyanotypes. I also had a dozen of printed artist camp journals that showed the images of the works that were inspired by that wonderful gathering of artists.
I set up a spontaneous cyanotype workshop, having prepared some papers in advance, here is Jo-Anne Driessens and Gordon Hookey, happily giving it a try.
Gordon is one of the most famous Indigenous Australian Artists, part of Proppa Now Collective aiming to "change ideas that people had about what Aboriginal art is and what it should be." He has inspired us with his teachings on importance of words, documentation, artist journals, and intentions.
Throughout the day, we had a chance to hear every artist talk about his work as we progressed from one station to the other.
Rick Roser with his fascinating ocher painting techniques, flint knapping, tool and stringmaking.
Sonja Carmichael, my favorite fiber artist, also displayed a huge cyanotype artwork and her fabulous woven mandalas
Rebecca Ray, our exhibition curator (for the first time) and artist presented a piece made of mirror and encaustic paints, inviting reflexion about perception, past and clarity.
Mark Cora created this extremely beautiful wind sculptures out of lawer vine, hand made string and fabric. These are my favorite in the whole exhibition, you should see them dance.
I love this woman, she is a great storyteller, genuine and strong. She seems to carry millenas of tradition of the Torres Strait People. Her art is unique and always bear a strong message.
She often works with banana leaves, because they hold the memories of her childhood and family.
Works by Ronda Sharpe invite awareness for a cleaner environment, sculptures are made with rubbish that she finds or encourage people to dispose of for creation of art during events.
Bravo for Lystra Bishop, her astonishing words and poetry, with message of clarity and purpose, bravo for the beautiful Artist Book Camp you have helped put together.
Alara Cameron displaying a beautiful painting expressing the clash between worlds and the difficulty of finding peace in what has become chaotic, impersonnal and superficial.
Many years went into this large woven piece by Claire Agale, I represents the land, water holes and mountains.
Another superb piece by Claire Agale, inspired by the mangrove trees surrounding the island at Stradbroke. Mangroves are highy important trees for the ecosystems.
This is Libby Harward, I do not have good photos of her work at HOTA but... i was at Clancestry festival in Brisbane and guess what??? I took some nice shots of her powerful statements regarding colonization, racism, injustice bringing strong presence of Indigenous people into the Urban Landscape, she is awesome!
Her work will follow me everywhere as i will never look at road sign language the same, ever!
HURRAY for my good friend Jo-Anne who has made sure logistics were made easy form me, always present with careful attentions and taking me to the best shows, events, lectures, exhibitions... She is the heart of our mob as artist camp fellas! We love you dearly.
I am truly grateful for Camp, the inspiration and huge changes it has initiated in my art practice, the gathering at Hota, that allowed us to show, share and thrive together (MAMUU) again. Thanks to the Yugambeh and Quandamooka People welcoming us on their land. Thanks to our Curator Bec Ray, Bradley, and HOTA crew, Gold Coast City Council for making this event happen.