Elder art on show in Paris
Artwork featuring Goldfields Aboriginal elders will be exhibited on the walls of the Australian Embassy in Paris from later this month.
French-born Australian photographer Martine Perret spent more than a year in the Goldfields collating stories about the lives of several Aboriginal elders to share through multimedia art works.
Ngala Wongga: Cultural significance of languages in the Goldfields features eight aerial photographs of the Goldfields, stories of eight elders, and a 12minute video on Laverton Abor- iginal elder Doreen Harris. After featuring in an exhibition in Perth last month, Perret was asked to exhibit her works in Paris to celebrate the international year of indigenous languages.
“It’s a dream come true to be asked to display this work in Paris, my place of birth,” Ms Perret said.
“For me what’s great is being able to represent the Goldfields at the exhibition. I think WA people don’t realise how lucky they are to have such a rich history of Aboriginal culture and language, but it is fragile and endangered, so the work is a reminder that it’s there and to preserve and protect it for generations to come.” Ms Perret’s work began in 2015 when she fulfilled her life-long goal of travelling to the Goldfields to meet Aboriginal elders and collaborate on work to highlight the significance of their language and culture.
Joining her in Paris for the exhibition are family members of the Aboriginal elders featured in the multimedia work. Edie Ulrich and Gino Sceghi, family members of Edna Sceghi, who died in 2016, and Kalgoorliebased elder Laurel Cooper’s son Gary. The exhibition will open on January 29 and run until September 6 at the Embassy of Australia in Paris.
Zoe Keenan Kalgoorlie-based Aboriginal elder Laurel Cooper features in the multimedia exhibition. The artwork is one of several put together by Martine Perret, a French-born Australian photographer.