Kang O Meerteek was an incredible project for the community of Narrawong. It was funded through a Small Town Transformation Grant through Regional Arts Victoria. The place based project stirred the earth and history for this coastal community just east of Portland. Driven through brilliant creative minds the project was a symbiosis of landscape, indigenous culture, settler history, ecology and art. You can track the history of the project through Kang O Meerteek’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kangomeerteekstt/
The township of Narrawong celebrated the conclusion of their extensive art-led community development project through the unveiling of two amazing public artworks. One is the stainless steel sculpture of a flame comprised of 6 meter high leaf-like forms. It was created by local indigenous artist Wal Saunders titled Mayapa Weeyn (Make Fire). The second sculpture sits further below and closer to chose at the mouth of the Surry River. Made of blue stone it is a remarkable sundial with the four directions marked by exquisite stone carvings of piece of whale created by Glenn Romans & Mark Trinham. It is called Koontabpul Thirng Wuul (Whale Sun Shadow).
Sometime in the haze of the third stage of birthing my PhD two of the project leads, Jodie Honan and Deborah Saunders reached out and invited me to curate a series of ephemeral textile works along the trail to each sculpture – the grand unveiling of the two amazing public artworks that map and activate the rich and complex history of the area. You can see footage of the installation via the link below. https://youtu.be/F3XmqwJj9J0
I met with Deb & Jodie on a special day last July. We walked the sites together and they explained their project, process, and artworks to me. All of a sudden I felt really honoured to have been asked to participate by these beautiful wise women. The opening weekend was ultimately scheduled for November. Following a conscious decision to better link my creative life with my family life my two daughters joined me for the installation.
Three sets of eco-died curtains were positioned along the Saw Mill Track at Mt Clay. The ghostly textiles were skilfully made by Deb Saunders- I think that they really activated the trail. The other works included collected sticks that had coloured wool wound around the ends. Embedded in the bush forest they looked like totem flowers.
This was a great gig. Utterly loved my role on its fringe. Make the trip to Narrawong and complete the trail between the two sculptures – drop in to the Bay of Whales Gallery while you are there and call in on Deb at SWAMP’s Tyrendarra Art Space on your way.