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.
Senior Arts & Culture Project Office
Alicia Melonie Jones
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
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.
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 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.