Aboriginal and Community Arts Centre
The Delegate Progress Association Inc. and the Bundian Way, a project of
Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council, present a second exhibitionHealing our Spirit
an exhibition of paintings by
Aboriginal people in custody
At the gallery Rural Transaction Centre,
open Mon-Fri and Saturdays during March and April 2013from 10am to 3pm
66a Bombala Street,Delegate, 2633
(phone) 02 64588388
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
These paintings so often express the quest for the culture that comes with Country, for nature and self-respect. (Detail from echidna painting by a Wiradjuri man)
The Healing our Spirit exhibition at the Bundian Way Aboriginal Art Gallery in Delegate was official opened by Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, on Saturday (9th March). Over 80 people attended during the day, in spite of or maybe because of the popular camp draft competition at Delegate showgrounds. BJ Cruse was present, welcoming visitors on behalf of Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council. Pastor Ossie Cruse gave a spirited Welcome to Country. Bombala Mayor Bob Stewart spoke of the considerable values the Bundian Way has brought to the region already. The new Arts Coordinator at Jigamy, Kim Aldridge, was welcomed.
Les Strzelecki, with Cath Calnan, for Corrective Services, Cooma, spoke of how appropriate was the name, Healing our Spirit, and the importance of inspiration in the works displayed. He asked those present to consider how this might have changed the lives of the artists.
Mr Gooda gave a powerful talk. He praised the art and the imagination of the exhibition, considering what it will mean for the Aboriginal people in custody.
He said, ĎAnd what weíre seeing with the Bundian Way is a reconciliation. Itís a mechanism. You donít just get people waking up one day and saying, ĎLetís do reconciliation.í This is a track, a meeting place, that links the freshwater to the saltwater, the beaches to the mountains. People traversed that track for a lot longer than most of us can get our heads around. And it should be a track for all of us to come together now, where we can come together and understand the value of whatís happening in our age... Ď
He stressed how important it is to find the things we all agree upon, as a way of moving forward. The Commissioner described his Social Justice agenda as comprising relations foremost, and in health, education and criminal justice, as well as constitutional recognition. He acknowledged the work of Corrective Servicesí officers in helping the Aboriginal people in custody find in their art a way forwards. The over-representation of Aboriginal people in custody remains a great problem and speculated on ways to avoid this and perhaps create a safer society for all.
A good number of the artworks were sold. Strong interest suggests there will be more sales to come. On the day many remarked on the great quality and value. Similar works in Sydney would cost many times the sales price in Delegate.
But the most essential element of the opening, says John Blay, the Bundian Way Project Officer, was the evocation of Aboriginal culture, how powerful it can be and how its expression can enhance everyday life in places like Delegate, or Eden, or just about anywhere. Great hopes were raised for the future.
At the opening: (L-R) For Corrective ServicesLes Strzelecki and Cath Calnan, Bombala Shire Mayor Bob Stewart, Pastor Ossie Cruse, Commissioner Mick Gooda and DPA President 'Chops' Guthrie.
©Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council 2012
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Last modified: December 14, 2012