We are fortunate to teach a wonderful Year 9 Indigenous Art class (comprised of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students). The focus areas of this subject include identity, connection to place and family through the creation of individual and collaborative artworks.
The class has recently completed a massive project to design and produce 150 conference bags – these will be presented to attendees at next week’s “Nature of Eyre Peninsula” conference at Coffin Bay (Sept 14/15).
Katrina Pobke, Communications and Engagement Officer for Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula, provided the opportunity for our students to collaborate in this eco-friendly community project, funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme, through the Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula Aboriginal Partnerships Program.
Each of the bags were hand-dyed, printed and painted with imagery devised by the students. They were inspired by their own relationships with the EP environment – from the raw energy of the harsh summers to an acknowledgement of the region’s fragilities and the intricate details that are revealed upon closer examination.
Quotes from students about their designs included:
~ “I’m interested in birds, especially in flight; they are quite beautiful. I wonder what they see as they are flying across the land.”
~ “My designs are beach-related, things I’ve seen whilst travelling, and because this is where I have lived my whole life.”
~ “I love being outside in the environment, watching the whales at Fisheries and Sleaford. I love how the waves splash up in a storm.”
~ “Kangaroo tracks were used by traditional Aboriginal people to identify what animals are in the area and to hunt for food.”
~ “Every tree is different; they are homes for birds. I feel calm in the trees.”
~ “Seeing kangaroos at dusk on the highway, they are like shadows in the bush.”
~ “Where I live there are bottlebrush and wattle trees; they attract lots of birds, especially the New Holland Honeyeaters.”
~ “When walking through the bush, if you stop and really look you begin to notice the tiny native orchids and lilies; just look for the flat leaves growing flat on the ground.”
Congratulations to the students on their positive involvement in this initiative.
~ Ms Wanda Jarvis & Ms Jenny Silver (PLHS Visual Arts)
Caption for photo above: Back row (L-R) Isaac Perone, Kye Young, Anthony Kennedy (NREP), Katrina Pobke (NREP), Tullia Sellen & Leonard Wells. Front row (L-R) Narawitch Untanon, Rikya-Anne Richards & Tina Reid.