Written by Sam Summers.
Last Friday, the team at kuril dhagun hosted a day of celebration for our communities to commemorate the closing of the Art of the Skins exhibition. As part of the celebrations, we invited members of the community and staff to participate in an afternoon of workshops.
Our leading exhibition artists in Carol McGregor and Glennys Briggs led a Possum Skin Wristband workshop, allowing the participants to connect with the uniquely rich traditional practice. Aunty Donna Page led a traditional Weaving workshop, a practice that has been passed down generationally through her family. Lyndon Davis then wound up our afternoon of workshops by hosting a Traditional Rope making session, where participants were walked through techniques used to create fish nets, baskets and other objects.
Following this, kuril dhagun played host to a wonderful Catalogue Launch in the culmination of the exhibition. Those who attended and spoke at the launch included SLQ State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald, as well as special guests, Director of Griffith University’s Queensland College of Art Prof. Derrick Cherrie, and leading exhibition artist Carol McGregor. kuril dhagun would also like to thank Griffith University’s Queensland College of Art and the Griffith Centre for Creative Arts Research for their support and sponsorship in creating the catalogues. This was a very special and significant occasion for all of the community members and project participants involved with the exhibition, and for those who attended on the day to receive the recognition they deserve.
Following the official proceedings, our guests moved up to Level 2 into the SLQ Gallery to enjoy some refreshments and an evening of deadly live performances by some of our community’s best artists. Glennys Briggs, who led the exhibition with alongside Carol McGregor, performed a solo spoken work performance using her stunning cloak piece ‘The Cloak of Mourning’. Performers from the Digi Youth Arts group then put together a reflective response to the exhibition, including dance, song and a beautiful artistic piece. To cap off the night, The Muirs delighted us with some melodic tunes which were thoroughly enjoyed by all.
The conclusion of the day’s events was the perfect way to send out what was a largely successful and poignant exhibition, not only for us here at kuril dhagun and SLQ but importantly for the Indigenous communities of Queensland. We would like to thank everyone who was involved in the exhibition, in all capacities, and especially the elders past and present who have allowed us to reconnect and give back meaning to our traditional practices.