Celebrating Indigenous Culture through Art, Stories and Music
The inaugural Naidoc Week art exhibition brought the Christ Church community together this week as boys from the Indigenous Student Programme shared their original paintings and stories. The exhibition, titled ‘Change: the next step is ours’ after this year’s Naidoc Week theme, features work inspired by the boys’ homeland and heritage.
The 16 students, who are predominantly from the East and West Kimberley as well as the Murchison and Beverley, unveiled their paintings at the exhibition’s opening on Tuesday night. The exhibition, co-ordinated by senior art teacher Gisela Züchner-Mogall and indigenous liaison officer Jamie Foster, was the culmination of a series of art workshops run during Term 2.
The boys were asked the to produce a painting inspired by the stories and symbolism relating to their tribes and country. A description of the artwork, including the boy’s tribe and where they were from, accompanied each painting. The exhibition also included artwork by old boy Frank Ansey (Class of 2009), who is working as a residential assistant in the boarding house and was Captain of the Residential Community in his final year.
Since the opening, which drew a large audience of students, staff, family and friends, classes from the Preparatory and Senior schools have been visiting the exhibition. On Thursday, the indigenous students talked to boys from Years 1 to 3 about their paintings and of the animals and symbolism used.
At the Senior School assembly, the boys led a Naidoc Week presentation at which they shared some of their favourite images from home. Wayne Edgar (Year 11) and Aiden Albert (Year 11) gave the audience an insight into some of the differences between life at home and life at Christ Church, some of the challenges they had faced and recognition of the opportunities the boys had been given at Christ Church.
The boys’ presentation concluded with a musical item, which featured Lawrence Evans (Year 10) and Harry McDonald (Year 8) on didgeridoo. Mr Foster said he hoped the exhibition and presentation would be a significant contribution to bringing a small part of the boys’ rich indigenous culture a little closer to the Christ Church community.
Earlier in the week, the Senior School also held a free dress day to raise money for Indigenous Community Education Appeal (ICEA). Founded by old boy Lockie Cooke in 2007, ICEA assists school children in disadvantaged indigenous communities in WA’s Kimberley region.
The art exhibition will run until Friday 12 August, in the Old Boys’ Gallery, at Christ Church Grammar School, Claremont.