Aboriginal art focus
Benalla P-12 College students had the opportunity to learn about Aboriginal art and take part in a jewellery making workshop last week.
As part of the See HER Land exhibition at Benalla Art Gallery, Baluk Arts, which created the display, arranged for some of their artists to talk to students and host the workshop.
Tallura Gray, who had work in the exhibition, said it was great to get the opportunity to discuss Aboriginal art with Benalla’s students.
‘‘It’s a public program as part of the exhibition, which has a focus on our female artists,’’ Ms Gray said.
‘‘It’s about bringing the exhibition to the public. So we’re bringing the P-12 kids in to do workshops. Today we will be doing jewellery making.
‘‘It’s a nice, fun, easy thing to do and the materials we use in the workshop reflect the materials used in the exhibition.’’
Benalla P-12 College art teacher Bridget Evans said Aboriginal art was something the school liked to incorporate into the curriculum.
‘‘It’s something that we like to keep local, so within Victoria,’’ she said.
‘‘We try to do something different each time we discuss Aboriginal art.
‘‘So when an opportunity like this arises it’s great to take it.
‘‘Having a gallery like this in Benalla is fantastic.
‘‘We walk down, it takes us 15 to 20 minutes and on a beautiful day like this it’s great to walk through the gardens as well.
‘‘The education program here is amazing.
‘‘They contact us and tell us what’s going on, they organise it all and we just have to take the students in.’’
Ms Gray said she loved Benalla and enjoyed getting the chance to display her work and talk to students in regional Victoria.
‘‘I’m not originally from Victoria, I moved here from Queensland two years ago, and Benalla seems a bit more like home to me than Melbourne, I really like it here,’’ she said.
‘‘I’m here with Baluk Arts. We’re an Aboriginal-owned-andrun art centre in Mornington on the peninsular and we’ve been around now for 10 years.
‘‘We’re Aboriginal governed and our main purpose is to promote the production and sales of our art.
‘‘The message we’re trying to get out is that Aboriginal people are contemporary.
‘‘We’re here now, we live Australian communities now.
‘‘I guess being from Mornington we’re an urban Aboriginal Art Centre and we’re aboriginal peo- in ple living in an urban setting.
‘‘So the diversity and strength of our culture still exists, the knowledge we have around using natural materials, our creativity still exists.
‘‘Those are some of the main messages we’re trying to share with the students.’’
Insight: Benalla Art Gallery hosted several P-12 College art classes, which were given a talk on the See HER Land exhibition and had the opportunity to take part in a jewellery-making workshop.