Art exhibition opened by Janet Holmes á Court AC
Noted businesswoman, philanthropist and ‘national treasure’ Janet Holmes á Court AC opened the 2012 Indigenous Student Art Exhibition on Tuesday night.
The exhibition, titled ‘Young Dreamings’, was a key part of the School’s NAIDOC Week programme.
A large gathering of the School community came together at the opening to appreciate the original artwork created by 23 indigenous boys and support NAIDOC Week. Mrs Holmes á Court spoke about the history of and her commitment to NAIDOC Week, and praised the boys for their remarkable artwork as well as the School and staff for their commitment to the Indigenous Student Programme.
These 23 indigenous students, who are predominantly from the Kimberley region, took part in a series of afterschool workshops to create paintings inspired by their homelands.
Senior art teacher Gisela Züchner-Mogall, who led the project together with the School’s Indigenous Programme Co-ordinator Jamie Foster, said she was delighted by the boys’ response and engagement to the art sessions.
“During the April school holidays, the boys were encouraged to talk to family and friends about the stories and symbolism relating to their tribes and country,” Ms Züchner-Mogall said.
A description of the artwork, together with a map of Aboriginal Australia showing the boys’ tribes and where they are from, accompanies each painting.
Rahamat Bin Bakar’s brightly coloured painting of his “best battle with a mulloway” reflects his love of fishing. “Since I have been in Perth, I have not caught anything in the Swan River except blowies,” Rahamat said.
“But whenever I have free time back in Broome – I like to go hunting for fish either on our dinghy or the big jetty at the Port in Broome. I usually go fishing with my dad, who taught me to hunt. But Dad doesn’t go fishing as much anymore as I’m not there to help with the boat.”
Joseph Pedley, of Wyndham, and Caiden Curtin, of Kununurra, chose more traditional colours for their paintings. “The colours of the Aboriginal flag mean a lot to me,” Joseph said.
“My painting represents the Aboriginal population and how we have walked the earth for a long time - living off bush tucker like kangaroos, goanna, turkey, fish and lots more.”
Caiden’s painting represents how snakes made the rivers in his country in the Dreamtime. “The snakes travelled across my country and made tracks and when it rained the tracks became the rivers,” he said.
The exhibition will be on display as part of the School’s annual NAIDOC Week programme and continue through to Friday 10 August. Parents and the wider community are encouraged to view the exhibition in the Old Boys’ Gallery during school hours or by special arrangement.