Fuaigh

fuaighbrochure_9-sep2016

Following on from the themes in Grounded, welcome to our Ceilidh!
Fuaigh is being shown on Monday 10 October, 8.30pm at Tramway Arts Centre, 25 Albert Drive, Glasgow. Fuaigh is part of National Theatre of Scotland’s Home Away Festival, and is being shown alongside a week of performances from Chicago, New Delhi, Brisbane, Dundee, Tomintoul and Glenlivet, Glasgow, Jamaica, the World Wide Web and Rio de Janeiro.
 

“Fuaigh centres around a traditional Gaelic Ceilidh. Using evocative song and dance, combined with striking visuals and a compelling narrative, the show will explore what happens when you leave behind your homeland and sail away to the metropolis. Fuaigh is an exciting new Gaelic theatre experience, promising a unique night at the theatre. Devised by an artistic team including celebrated singer and musician Gillebride McMillan, playwright and poet Rona MacDonald, visual artist and photographer Judith Parrott and director and writer John Binnie”.

Fuaigh is performed in Gaelic and English.

Our show is presented directly after a Corroboree devised by my colleague Fred Leone of Brisbane. Fred is from the Garawa and Butchella Nations of Queensland.
Bookings can be made online at:  tramway.org or here or by phone on 0845 330 3501
The show is also presented in South Uist on Saturday 1 October and again in Barra on Sat 15 October as part of The Mod.

Supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
In association with British Council and in partnership with Glasgow Life. With funding also from National Theatre Scotland, Creative Scotland, Bord na Gaidhlig, Traditional Arts Fund, Gaelic Books Council, and The Mod.

Meanwhile, Grounded is still touring with Flying Arts Alliance in Australia. Currently at Gympie Regional Gallery 23 August 2016 – 29 September 2016.

Then:
Gallery 107 Dalby 9 January – 23 February 2017
Goondiwindi Art Space – 11 March – 22 April, 2017
Mundubbera Regional Art Gallery 5th May 2017 – 28th June 2017
Gladstone Regional Art Gallery 22 July to 26 August, 2017
Tableland Regional Art Gallery, Atherton Dec’17 – Jan ‘18

You can book Grounded, and other great shows here: http://flyingarts.org.au/exhibitions/exhibitions-by-request/

Feedback from the comments book in Brisbane can be viewed via this link: Comments from Grounded at Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. And for a small selection of the feedback from the same show in Glasgow, during Festival 2014, XX Commonwealth Games, you can find comments here.

You can link to information about the exhibition at these links: Introductory panel in Englishand Introductory panel in Gaelic.

For those new to the blog, the Grounded exhibition, a commission by Glasgow Life for Festival 2014 XX Commonwealth Games, has also shown since at An Lanntair Art Gallery in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, as a partner event at Hebtember Festival.

The Colour of Language arts educational project came out of Grounded’s showing at An Lanntair in Stornoway, Scotland. The Colour of Language frieze is growing and now almost big enough to cover a wall at An Lanntair Gallery in Stornoway, with the latest additions by some children from Hazelwood North school in Gippsland, Australia. If you are interested in joining in you can contact me through this blog here.

The story of my time in jail in Alice Springs whilst on artist residency for Grounded, the subsequent lack of conviction in court, and implications of this story for the local Aboriginal population, can be linked to here. Then here for the court process following arrest. And a response to the Alice Springs jail post by Professor Smith can be found here.

Three audiovisuals that were part of Grounded, (Wadlu-gnana; Freumhaichte; Who Cares for Country) can be watched here

The book that accompanied the exhibition can be found at Exhibition explanatory book 

Educational workshops run at An Lanntair Gallery in conjunction with Grounded can be viewed here and here.

Joe’s educational video of me talking about the exhibition can be viewed here.

Photos of the Glasgow opening event are here. Glasgow workshops, talks and exhibition details are here. And the Digital Resources pages of the blog for further information are here and here.

An interview about my work with journalist Jim Gilchrist is on the Struileag website which can be read at Jim Gilchrist’s review or linked to here.

A review by Dr Kate Robinson can be found here. And you can listen to a cut down recording of “In Conversation: Connecting through Culture” at this Vimeo link. (16 mins.) (One of our afternoon events at Glasgow Festival 2014 showing). Or listen to some music from one of our Glasgow afternoon events here.

A radio interview with BBC Radio Scotland Voices of the Commonwealth, which explores some of the concepts behind Grounded, is now available for listening to here.

My artist biography can be linked to here and here and my personal website is here

The introductory page for the blog can be found here.

The Grounded residency diary entries begin here in Scotland and then in Australia here. This is a record of my thoughts whilst gathering the material. These thoughts and images inform the production but are not part of the final exhibition.

Some other sites that link to Grounded can be found here

Funder acknowledgements can be viewed here

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The Colour of Language and the Grounded exhibition tour in Australia

draft swatches 19 March 2015 blog

The Colour of Language frieze is growing and now almost big enough to cover a wall at An Lanntair Gallery in Stornoway, with the latest additions by some children from Hazelwood North school in Gippsland, Australia. The Colour of Language arts educational project came out of Grounded’s showing at An Lanntair in Stornoway, Scotland.

The children from Gippsland have looked at trees, shrubs, flowers and earth and painted the colours that they saw and experienced. The words were translated into local Gunnai/Kurnai language by Doris Paton, and the colour swatches have been added by Joe to the growing Scottish Gaelic / Australian Aboriginal frieze

If you are connected to a school that might be interested in joining, please do contact me via this blog here.

Grounded is soon to start its growing Australian tour, hosted by Flying Arts Alliance, with the first opening at Dogwood Crossing, Miles on 24 July 2015 and then at Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Brisbane on 30 September 2015 before continuing on a tour of regional Queensland and beyond.

For those new to the blog, the Grounded exhibition, a commission by Glasgow Life for Festival 2014 XX Commonwealth Games, has also shown since at An Lanntair Art Gallery in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, as a partner event at Hebtember Festival.

Feedback on the Glasgow Festival 2014, XX Commonwealth Games exhibition can be linked to here.

Three audiovisuals that were part of Grounded, (Wadlu-gnana; Freumhaichte; Who Cares for Country) can be watched here

The book that accompanied the exhibition can be found at Exhibition explanatory book

You can also link to information about the exhibition at these links: Introductory panel in English and Introductory panel in Gaelic.

Educational workshops run at An Lanntair Gallery in conjunction with Grounded can be viewed here and here.

Joe’s educational video of me talking about the exhibition can be viewed here.

Photos of the Glasgow opening event are here. Glasgow workshops, talks and exhibition details are here. And the Digital Resources pages of the blog for further information are here and here.

An interview about my work with journalist Jim Gilchrist is on the Struileag website which can be read at Jim Gilchrist’s review or linked to here. And a response to the Alice Springs jail post by Professor Smith can be found here. A review by Dr Kate Robinson can be found here. And you can listen to a cut down recording of “In Conversation: Connecting through Culture” at this Vimeo link. (16 mins.) (One of our afternoon events at Glasgow Festival 2014 showing). Or listen to some music from one of our Glasgow afternoon events here.

A radio interview with BBC Radio Scotland Voices of the Commonwealth, which explores some of the concepts behind Grounded, is now available for listening to here.

My artist biography can be linked to here and here and my personal website is here

The introductory page for the blog can be found here.

The Grounded residency diary entries begin here in Scotland and then in Australia here. This is a record of my thoughts whilst gathering the material. These thoughts and images inform the production but are not part of the final exhibition.

Some other sites that link to Grounded can be found here

Funder acknowledgements can be viewed here

In Conversation: Connecting through Culture

"In Conversation, Connecting through Culture", one of our afternoon events.

“In Conversation, Connecting through Culture”, one of our afternoon events.

As well as the great music during the afternoon sessions at the Grounded exhibition in Glasgow, we had this conversation (around the peats) about language, chaired by Rona MacDonald, the Gaelic Arts producer at Glasgow Life, and with special guest Craig Duggan, from BBC Wales, talking about Welsh language. Rona begins with a short Gaelic introduction, and we continue the conversation in English. You can listen to a cut down recording of the conversation at this Vimeo link. (16 mins.)

The Grounded exhibition is showing next at An Lanntair Art Gallery in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, from 13 September to 11 October, a partner event at Hebtember Festival. We are heading to the Outer Hebrides tomorrow so will be offline for a couple of weeks.

If you are new to the blog, the Grounded residency diary entries and photographs begin here in Scotland and then in Australia here. The book that accompanied the exhibition can be found at Exhibition explanatory book

Three audiovisuals that were part of Grounded, and the promotional audiovisual, can be watched here

The introductory page for the blog can be found here. Feedback on the Glasgow exhibition can be linked to here. Photos of the Glasgow opening event are here. Glasgow workshops, talks and exhibition details are here. And the Digital Resources pages of the blog for further information are here and here.

An interview about my work with journalist Jim Gilchrist is on the Struileag website which can be linked to here. And a response to the Alice Springs jail post by Professor Smith can be found here. A BBC Radio Scotland interview can be found here. A review by Dr Kate Robinson can be found here.

My artist biography can be linked to here and here and my personal website is here

More than a song

I am inserting in here a link to a song and video by Dol Eoin MacKinnon. Dol Eoin sang this song at one of our afternoon sessions during the Grounded exhibition in Glasgow. I really hope you enjoy and admire the song and video as much as I do. Only 13 days to go now until Scotland votes on its future.

Dol Eoin’s next short film includes a feature on Grounded. Looking forward to being able to share that with you too.

The Grounded exhibition is showing next at An Lanntair Art Gallery in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, from 13 September to 11 October, a partner event at Hebtember Festival.

If you are new to the blog, the Grounded residency diary entries and photographs begin here in Scotland and then in Australia here. The book that accompanied the exhibition can be found at Exhibition explanatory book

Three audiovisuals that were part of Grounded, and the promotional audiovisual, can be watched here

An interview about my work with journalist Jim Gilchrist is on the Struileag website which can be linked to here. And a response to the Alice Springs jail post by Professor Smith can be found here. A BBC Radio Scotland interview can be found here. A review by Dr Kate Robinson can be found here. The introductory page for the blog can be found here. Feedback on the Glasgow exhibition can be linked to here. Photos of the Glasgow opening event are here. Glasgow workshops, talks and exhibition details are here. And the Digital Resources pages of the blog for further information are here and here.

My artist biography can be linked to here and here and my personal website is here

Day 42, Lionel Possum and preserving language and culture

Pitjantjatjara-bible-alice-springs

Kanytjupai and the Pitjantjatjara bible translation

20 September

I am introduced to Lionel Possum today. Lionel is the son of Clifford Possum who is considered one of Australia’s most renowned Aboriginal artists. Lionel has inherited the right to his father’s stories and his dot work has the same precision and uniformity as that of his father.

Lionel is working on a painting, Worm Dreaming. He tells me if I go out at night I can hear the whistle of the worms, digging under the earth. We sit on the concrete in the shade of some corrugated tin with his painting spread out on the ground, its precisely placed, deep ochre red and yellow dots, set beside rich dark black. He is a strong man, like his Daddy, he tells me, painting the Dreaming.

My other meeting today is with Kanytjupai. Kanytjupai is Pitjantjatjara from Pukatja (Ernabella) but lives now at a hostel in Alice Springs for her care. She is working as part of a team translating the bible into Pitjantjatjara, and has been working on this for many years. She says it will be for many years more too.

Kanytjupai shows me a copy of this amazing work, and the beautiful paintings it contains. Zebras and Kangaroos drink side by side at a waterhole with emus grazing nearby. Rabbits and koalas and snakes move through the trees and the grass, and on the horizon, the silhouette of a young Aboriginal boy feeds what appears to be a gazelle. The whole image has a beautiful golden water-colour wash.

It is important to translate the bible into language, as this has been one way that language has survived. Ironically the missionaries who introduced the bibles were also responsible for much of the banning of cultural practices. It is with great resilience that the Aboriginal people have used this medium as a means of preserving what they can of culture and language.

(The Digital Resources Australia Page of the blog has 2 new links – one on Lionel Possum and an ABC article about Australian Aboriginal youngsters retracing the steps of their ancestors)

Day 41, Anthwerrke (Emily Gap), Eastern MacDonnells

emily-gap-macdonnell-ranges-alice-springs

Anthwerrke, Eastern MacDonnells

18 September 2013

I have a very special morning today, meeting with Mark Inkamala and Baydon, two senior lawmen of Western Arrarnta country.

There is much they are unable to tell me of storylines related to their clan, as it is sacred information held only within the clan, but I am very grateful for what they do share.

In the same way, the basement of the Strehlow Museum where Mark now works relates to secret men’s business and ceremony. I am told that up until recently Aboriginal women would not enter even the upstairs of the museum. Much of the collection can only be accessed by the Traditional Aboriginal Custodians.

Some communities in the Northern Territory cannot be visited without a permit. And moving around the community must be done with the guidance of a cultural advisor to prevent accidental entry to sacred or men only sites.

Today Mark and Baydon accompany me out to Anthwerrke (Emily Gap) in the Eastern MacDonnells, Eastern Arrernte country. This site can be visited by the public, though at one time that would not have been possible.

Anthwerrke is the sacred site of Caterpillar Dreaming. Red ochre lined paintings, drawn onto the rocks, mark the significance and the story of this place. It is where the three caterpillar beings of Mparntwe (Alice Springs) originated, the ancestral beings for the Alice Springs area, from whom Aboriginal people conceived in Alice Springs consider themselves descended. The geographical features of the surrounding landscape were formed by the caterpillars as they travelled out from here to the edge of the Simpson Desert.

The sandy riverbed of the red-rock gorge bakes in the sun, cliff edges sharply delineated against a vivid blue sky. White-barked gums grow in the dry, where water must rush in a flood. It is a place of vivid red and white and blue with smatterings of olive green.

Standing on the naked riverbed, in the silence of the gorge, it feels like I can sink a little further into the ground. As the warmth of the sand moves upwards through the soles of my feet my body relaxes.

No-one speaks. The air is thick with silence, like some communal sigh from the watchful painting on the rock walls. The chaos of Alice Springs is miles away. That feeling I always have in Alice of being displaced from where I thought I was, and having no sense of where I am going, has simply vanished. Here we can feel grounded. Here it is as though the rocks are waiting patiently for some line of connection to past and future to re-gather its strength and for the chaos to settle to peace.

(A link to an article about The Dreaming is now up on the Australia Digital Resources page of the blog)

Day 39, Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa)

st-beads

Anne’s painted seed necklaces

16 September 2013

This morning we discover that the great heavy truck I am using to get to Santa Teresa has a flat tyre. With tyre pressures sitting at around 20 it is little wonder, says the garage. Some great fortune has flattened the tyre before I got on the 100km of unsealed road. Not somewhere I want to break down on my own, with no mobile reception. No wonder the jolly truck has been so hard to handle.

So with tyres pumped up to 40, and a request for an oil and water check too, I head southeast on my adventure to Santa Teresa, in Eastern Arrernte country. I feel pea-sized in such a vehicle, but I get the measure of it and slip into the gentle rhythm of the road.

The road is covered in fine dust that slips and turns with the wheels, and where the wind has blown through, it is ruts and bumps and holes. On the horizon the red rock of the worn old hills is covered with the olive of dusty trees and the combination of the two colours gives a definite ancient painterly purple to their appearance.

From a practical non-driver I am turning into quite a pro, but I still feel a sense of relief to pull safely into the Catholic mission.The first sight is the tall, straight cross on the hill, and the gleaming white of the church, almost Aegean against the stark blue of the sky. But its setting amidst a spread of lightly-coloured, concrete block and tin-roofed bungalows, with that ever-present fine coating of dust, keeps it solidly in Australia. Low wire-mesh fences set out plot boundaries to the street but the red earth continues on both sides of the fence; perhaps some grass struggles to grow on the inside. Lean dogs run excitedly in their packs and bark at the car wheels. A large sign beckons me, “Welcome to Ltyentye Apurte”.

Ltyentye Apurte is a sacred rainmaking site. It is also the site of the Santa Teresa mission, which was built in 1953. It is a community of 600 people, on the western edge of the Simpson Desert.

I have brought lunch with me for the ladies; breads and salads and roasted chicken. I top it up with a bit more ham and cheese from the local shop.

I have been invited to talk with the ladies at the Healing Centre, a beautiful relaxing space hung with bright silk scarves they have painted, and workbenches scattered with trinkets, boxes and crosses, all painted with precision and dexterous skill in traditional designs of vibrant colour.The painting connects the ladies in cultural ways to the land. The artwork can also be bought from the Santa Teresa Spirituality Centre (Facebook page) and from the Ltyentye Apurte Keringke Arts Centre (This site has the Keringke Story about the kangaroo that came in the Dreamtime from the South East).

I am told the room I am in at the Healing Centre used to be a dormitory where the children, who had been taken away from their mothers, slept. One lady tells me she grew up here, crying and crying for her mother. But she’s happy now, she tells me, with new family around her and her painting to do.

I spend a lot of time talking with Mary Therese Mulladad, a Ngangkere (traditional healer).

Mary uses her hands to tell her where healing is needed for patients. She tells me her skills come from the land and her father passed on the knowledge to her.

Mary performs smoking ceremonies at the traditional healing centre using local bush medicine. Houses are also smoked when loved ones are lost to make the spirit rest in peace.

“If a little baby is sleeping and a loud noise happens nearby, the baby’s spirit might hide and make the baby sick”, she tells me. Mary can see if the baby has no spirit and put the spirit back into the body to make the baby well again.

Mary creates a smoking and healing ceremony for me, laying her peaceful hands on my forehead and brushing the smoke from the arrethe medicine plant towards me. She says it will help me be strong in the work I am doing and I am grateful for her counsel.

After lunch and talking with the ladies, I am taken into the church. It is an amazing sight inside. The walls are covered in beautiful murals depicting Aboriginal scenes; Jesus, with his distinctive long hair, as an Aboriginal man rising from the water, or sitting at the corroboree. A traditional Aboriginal carrying bowl, a coolamon, acts as the font in the church.

I am not allowed to take photos inside the church so it is up to your mind’s eye to visualise this scene.

(Some new links are up on the Australia Digital Resources page of the blog relating to Santa Teresa and Australian Aboriginal medicine men and women)