Abo­rig­i­nal art fo­cus

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page - By Simon Rup­pert

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.

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