At the end of week 13

There’s no picture of the tree that’s being so slow to lose its leaves this week as I have spent the week away from Sturt in the “Top End” experiencing the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Arts Festival in Darwin. Helen Barnard, Phillipa Rooke and I had a most extraordinary time visiting Estelle and Warren Virgen. We saw, we ate and we experienced! What a fabulous time they gave us. We visited the Aboriginal Arts Markets, Frame (the most amazing gallery), the Tiwi, Larakia and Maningrida Galleries (3 cooperative galleries run for the specific family groups), the Mindil and Parap Markets. We saw the works that were juried for the Awards and were there when the very controversial winner was announced while the sun went down as a backdrop to the whole occasion. At night, we sat under the most amazingly clear sky and enjoyed the heavens. Then after spending three very full days “doing culture”, we played “tourist” visiting Litchfield National Park and then to top off that final day we went to a concert by Tom E Lewis (vocals and guitar). Many of the songs included aboriginal singing by Roy and Daniel contrasting with electric guitar, and double bass. It was a great concert. We went from there to the airport to make the journey back to Mittagong. I have come away with wonderful memories, a great collection of images and inspiration that can be used for future work. Here are a few of the things we saw:

After lunch in front of Parliament House

Phillipa, Estelle and Helen in front of Parliament House after lunch. It was a fabulous lunch destination.

Inside Parliament House

 

Mindil Markets

Sunset at Mindil Beach

Another sunset. This time at the awards.

 

 

Estelle communicating with a termite nest

I heard the tail end of an interview on the radio this morning that really brought home some of the experience that was Darwin. The sky was so clear up there and there were an unbelievable number of stars. The interview was on the night sky with some discussion on renaming the constellations. The person being interviewed made a statement along these lines: The white man named the constellations by connecting dots, the aboriginal looked at the empty space and named those. He gave the example of the black spot that can be seen in the Southern Cross when viewed away from city lights as being the head of the emu. If the negative space is followed it becomes the neck and then the body. Darwin is such a contrast to other capital cities.

In Litchfield National Park

I heard the tail end of an interview on the radio this morning that really brought home some of the experience that was Darwin. The sky was so clear up there and there were an unbelievable number of stars. The interview was on the night sky with some discussion on renaming the constellations. The person being interviewed made a statement along these lines: The white man named the constellations by connecting dots, the aboriginal looked at the empty space and named those. He gave the example of the black spot that can be seen in the Southern Cross when viewed away from city lights as being the head of the emu. If the negative space is followed it becomes the neck and then the body. Darwin is such a contrast to other capital cities. It has so many facets and the experience gave much food for thought.

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