Thursday, October 8, 2009

a communal drawing beneath the shelter

There was a strong sou-westerly blowing on day three of the camp and we planned to set up to do a communal work on paper involving 12 women.We made a collection of giant brushes using sticks and grass bundles bound together the previous night. This allowed for free marking with plant dyes and charcoal.

Seven metres of a 10m x 150 cm roll of quality paper was laid on the ground on a tarp. We had use of a tarp shade, which though was low to the ground kept the wind at bay and sun off us.We placed tubs of plant dye, black and sepia ink sticks of soft charcoal and our giant brushes and the papers edge in preparation.When Tjingapa, Carole, Anna, Nora, Myrtle, Lala, Bronwyn, Lizzie, Holly, Sujora and Nalda were gathered around the paper edge the mark making began. The grass brushes were dipped into the tubs of dye and ink and expressive marks were made freely. Using soft charcoal dipped in dye and ink and then dragged across the paper line was made. Images appeared, as energy transfixed vigorous line. The white expanse was being transformed into a narrative of 12 stories each running into the other. Colours floated and co mingled creating a common surface.

Words appeared, kali, mipurri, Inma Kungkurakalpa the Seven sisters appeared at one end and further as a group of minymas dancing, Ngurrng, the morning star, warta, delicate trees, yapu, rocky outcrops wipu, a kangaroo tail,

We rolled out another 2 metres of the paper and that was further covered with images and marks.

A quiet descended as we took in what the past hour or so had given us as a group working as individuals in a communal way. The earthy colour range resembled the land surrounding us as the dyes had come straight from it.They were subtle and muted giving emphasis to the marks and forms those echoeing the vegetation, around us.

Several days later in Warburton we rolled the the work out inside the art workshop, we were all there and I think moved by the beauty of such a map.

More to come on this event.....

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