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For Garry Jones, art is one way to ‘paint a picture’ to challenge people’s perceptions of belonging and dispossession of land among Indigenous peoples.
Coinciding with Reconciliation Week, Bankstown Arts Centre is holding an exhibition by the Kamilaroi-Ngemba artist, called Artifact/Artifice, showcasing a range of artworks.
The exhibition presents a series of traditionally inspired objects carved in Styrofoam, as well as large charcoal drawings inspired by a sacred site, to prompt others to embark on their own journey translating and reconciling the past into the present.
“The exhibition serves to raise awareness about our need to reconnect, reconstruct and revitalise Indigenous culture and practices,” Mr Jones said.
“As an Aboriginal person, I’ve always found myself living on other Indigenous people’s Countries, and always wanted to make sense of how to be at home there.
“So the exhibition is both a personal reconciliation for me and the Australian population to find ways we can enjoy places today, built on a relatively fraught history, with an awareness that it is still Indigenous land.”
Mayor Khal Asfour acknowledged the traditional custodians of Canterbury-Bankstown, the Darug and the Eora peoples. He said recognising and respecting them and their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land gives others an honest approach and understanding to the realities of a very important history.
“Today (Wednesday 26 May), is Sorry Day and as part of Reconciliation Week may we commit to always remember how it’s more than a word - reconciliation takes action,” Mayor Asfour said.
He said reconciliation is a journey for all community members that is built on relationships.
“As part of this, I’m very proud to say Bankstown Arts Centre is also hosting multiple Aboriginal weaving workshops with Lee Carr, a Wiradjuri woman we’re excited to be working with,” Mayor Asfour said.
“It’s exciting to give others the opportunity to not only learn about traditional weaving styles, and their significance using raffia fibre but to also engage and even get the chance to make their own bracelet or basket.”
Artifact/Artifice is on exhibition at Bankstown Arts Centre until Saturday 19 June.
To take part in an Aboriginal Weaving workshop, visit cb.city/artscentre
26/05/2021 3:52 PM