15. 12. 2015
This Is A River. This Is A Community. This Is Art.
Although I’m currently based in Adelaide for other work, the Riverland is my heartland and my home. My parents, grandparents, siblings and many other family live here. I have a rich and supportive network of friends and community here. I was born here (in Waikerie). This country calls to me in my dreams when I spend too long away. So This Is A River is a project which I feel very grateful to have happening in our region and right along the South Australian stretch of the River Murray. Of course every project has teething problems, and no single project can please everyone but this investment of ideas and time and art into my heartland feels very special to me.
A few years ago now I was lucky enough to spend 12months as Country Arts SA’s Riverland and Mallee Arts and Cultural Development Officer and through that position I met so many local artists from various disciplines and backgrounds who I otherwise might never have come into contact with. Artists who have become friends, collaborators and sources of inspiration and as much as possible I try to say hi whenever I happen to be in town. Working on Manifold Portrait has been a great excuse to be home more often this year and catch up with all the art that’s always happening in and around the Riverland.
This weekend specifically, I dropped into the River Lands Gallery to catch up with friend and Manifold Portrait artist Lorraine Marter who – talented lady that she is – is also working on River Rites, another This Is A River project! Over Friday, Saturday and Sunday Lorraine, along with other Riverland artists were working on the magnificent ‘havoc’ creatures being created for River Rites. While I was there Glenys Leske and Lorraine were working on two creatures, one evoking our region’s experience of flood and the other the dust and dryness.
I got to model ‘Dusty’ – as I’m affectionately calling him – for a quick photo by the Murray Pioneer:
He’s not finished obviously! But will look so great once he is. There are more workshops happening for River Rites as part of Riverland Field Days so do go and check them out and get involved. Punctum Inc is the company behind River Rites and they do all sorts of interesting things + our excellent Riverland textile artists make this a winning combo. I can’t wait to see the final outcomes!
More info about River Rites can be found here.
PS – I also snuck a selfie: