The six-week long community arts and cultural development project, FIVE Geraldton, will host a community celebration and exhibition of works from the project on 8 May 2014 in Post Office Lane and on Marine Terrace in the City of Geraldton.
The event will feature an installation of the large-scale community sculpture created by the community in collaboration with artist Hiromi Tango at the ACDC Gallery and other venues. The event will also screen the projection of digital portraits filmed by Craig Walsh at the Wedge building (part of the WA Museum – Geraldton) during April. Projects from workshops with young adults in Geraldton will also be on display.
“We have been very fortunate to have well-known community artists Craig Walsh and Hiromi Tango visit the City of Greater Geraldton to facilitate broad community-based projects,” said Chris Budhan, Acting City Director, Creative Communities.
“The projects have provided avenues for people to come together and share stories about what Geraldton means to them, and so create a collective narrative for and about the town. It’s something we are very proud of.
“As a project, FIVE is an important community-building tool. Using artistic engagement in this way helps to build, support and maintain a strong, healthy community that aligns with the City’s Strategic Community Plan.”
Raina Savage, Arts Development Manager at the ACDC Gallery, says that the Gallery was delighted to host the whole-of-community workshops that created the sculptural work.
“Hiromi’s workshops have enabled hundreds of people from all walks of life to come together to make art, and to share their stories about family and life in Geraldton,” said Ms Savage. “The process has been vibrant and inclusive, with Hiromi’s warmth and creativity bringing a lot of joy to all participants.”
Artists Hiromi Tango and Craig Walsh have used the concept of ‘belonging’ to generate personal reflections and creative expression. Their combined projects have been shaped around the idea of ‘nests’ for the final exhibition.
“We have been inspired by the idea of nests during our time in Geraldton,” said Mr Walsh. “There is quite a movement here to support the Sea Osprey, with artificial nests created on the foreshore using old lobster traps, for example.
“The community spoke about the Osprey during interviews for the digital artwork, and the idea of building a nest by gathering and assembling a nurturing space is very similar to the work that FIVE is doing in the community. It’s a fitting metaphor.”
Walsh, who will work across four of the FIVE project’s communities, has woven digital stories from participants into a larger digital artwork capturing aspects of community identity in Geraldton.
“We will screen a multi-channel video projection on the walls of Post Office Square,” he said. “The work has been created using video portraits and statements extracted from interviews with about 50 people from this area.
“All contributions to the interviews are combined to form a community portrait defined through personal views of what it means to live and work in Geraldton.
“We hope the work generates a sense of pride and celebration while also raising important questions relative to environment, compassion, empathy, tolerance and participation in a town that is clearly a very special place to many people.”
Also on show at the community celebration will be work created in a series of youth projects. Photographic narratives created by young adults from Streetwork Aboriginal Corporation will be on display, along with interactive digital works and a mural.
FIVE Geraldton is part of a larger statewide project, called FIVE. It is a two-year partnership between DADAA and Rio Tinto, taking place in Geraldton, Paraburdoo, Busselton, Derby and Esperance.
Led by arts organisation DADAA, the project has aimed to build community resilience and wellbeing through participatory arts activities that have taken place at various sites in Geraldton.
The FIVE Geraldton celebration and exhibition opening will take place in Post Office Lane and on Marine Terrace (near the Clock Tower) from 5.00–8.00pm with formal proceedings and the projection starting at 6.30pm. Pop up markets, street entertainers and street food will add to the vibrancy of the event. The sculpture can also be viewed on 9 and 10 May in the same location.
The event is free and open to the public.