~ The Art Of Change ~ with Carol Omer ~

Art and Creativity as Mediums for Empowerment , Connection and Change…

Archive for February, 2008

Beauty from the deep sadness- a ‘post Sorry Day’ story….

Posted by carolom on February 29, 2008

My very dear friend was deeply affected by the Apology Day to the Stolen Generation of Aboriginal Australians as the high profile, political build up brought to the surface many things that happened to her that still have impact today.

It was not a celebratory week for her and she refused the offer to go to Canberra as part of the group representing the Stolen children who have survived.

For those outside of Australia who do not know, Australia had a rigorous, uncompromising White Australia policy in place for many years of the 20th century and Aboriginal children were taken from their Mothers and Fathers, forcibly removed, with no reason other than they were Black children. Many of the survivors of the child-removals refer to ‘when I was kidnapped’ and it is a term that is very fitting regardless that they were removed by ‘authorities’ who gave themselves the power to subjugate Aboriginal people for many years. Kidnapping of children is none the less serious or devastating because it is a ‘policy’ by the government.It is the ultimate abuse f human rights, to take a child from his /her mother and refuse any more contact.

The grief and trauma is still very current in many people’s lives today so the  Rudd Governments pledge to “Apologise” was presented as a gesture of healing and reconciliation – although it was made clear there would be no compensation or legal recourse available to the children who survived the kidnappings. Many white Australians have been compensated for far lesser injustices .

My beautiful friend is one of those survivors along with her Sisters. She is a counsellor and healer herself and knows better than anyone what it takes to survive such widespread child theft and disintegration of Family, Aboriginal Law and Culture by the European arrivals who believed the Aboriginal people to be inferior and were often referred to as ‘savages’. Removing people from their homeland also meant that land could be stolen for grazing sheep and mining. This Land Rights based on thousands of years of occupation  continues in the courts  today in Australia.

On the weekend after the Apology my friend spent a couple of days with Sal and I and I invited her to create a piece of empowerment art to honour the Mother she never knew and the Sisters who were lost to her. The Apology opened up old and deep wounds, the death of her Mother who was never reunited with her Children is a pain my friend lives with in spite of her years of healing and recovery. It runs too deep to ever be completely free of the heartache of losing ones right to grow u with the Woman who gave you birth and loved you deeply. I understood that what my friend needed was not more talking about it all but an opportunity to give shape and form to her sadness and release the anguish from her body in a physical, palpable way.

 

We created the ‘base’ beads using arir-drying clay, they had a Mother / Goddess theme you can see here:

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We painted the base coat and then she took the beads home with her after we spent a bit of time in the market picking the black and orange ‘filler” beads:

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Words could not express the joy in my heart when my friend came to see me yesterday on the way back from a gathering of her colleagues who work with the Stolen Generation and she showed me her clay “Empowerment Necklace” in progress…

As I held the amazingly energised, vibrant beads in my hand I knew beyond any doubt that “creating” offers avenues and pathways that ‘counseling’ rarely travels along.. Creativity shifts the energy outside of the body bringing both release and the ‘alchemy’ of making something tangible from something unseen yet profoundly strong in the mind /body /Spirt  /emotional circuitry system.

My friends Mother, Sisters, Daughters, Aunty and Grandmothers were all there in this beautiful strand of ‘story beads’..

nungalas-beads.jpg

I love my friend…her resolve not to let the shocking events of her childhood overwhelm her never ceases to amaze me…

Here we are wearing our beads that honour the Mothers whose children were snatched from their arms because the white people in government believed they were inferior to Europeans and needing to be controlled.

Honouring the Fathers, Uncles, Brothers, Grandfathers and Sons also is another chapter of the healing journey unfolding…

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Posted in Aboriginal, Community, Creativity, Forgiveness, Healing, Social Artistry, Sorry Day Feb 2008, Stolen Generation, Transformation, Wisdom, Women | 1 Comment »

Fancy Stitches Opens in Melbourne

Posted by carolom on February 24, 2008

Back in November I wrote about a wonderful exhibition called “Fancy Stitches” when it was here in Adelaide.

I was pleased to hear that the exhibition is going to be opening in Melbourne soon….you can see the details on the poster below.

If you get the chance, go along and look at this inspiring, heart warming and sometimes sad exhibition that captures the reality of living in a country that has been ravaged by HIV / AIDS…and the amazing strength, courage and creativity of the Women who tell their stories through the Fancy Stitches embroidery collective.

Photo essay of Fancy Stitches Exhibition can be seen in my blog here….

Where Gallery 15 @15W 15 William Street Melbourne
When 5 – 31 March 9am – 6pm Mon- Fri
oxfam-australia-fancy-stitch-exhibition.jpg

Posted in Africa, Art, Community, Fancy Stitches, Sisterhood, Social Artistry, Wisdom, Women | Leave a Comment »

An image that emerged during the Apology Week…

Posted by carolom on February 18, 2008

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Posted in Aboriginal, Australia, Community, Forgiveness, Justice, Oneness, Peace, Reconciliation, Relationships, Spirituality | Leave a Comment »

Sorry Day- This is what Katrina and Carol felt on the day…

Posted by carolom on February 14, 2008

A picture paints a thousand words and we all shared many tears and smiles and hugs on this historical, momentus day.  katrina-and-carol.jpg 

Posted in Aboriginal, Australia, Change, Community, Dreaming, Family, Forgiveness, Healing, Humor, Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri, Oneness, Reconciliation, Sisterhood, Social Artistry, Sorry, Sorry Day Feb 2008, Spirituality, Stories, Transformation, Unity, Wisdom | Leave a Comment »

Purrl the Feline Dog…

Posted by carolom on February 1, 2008

Someone has to tell her….

Because she just doesn’t listen…  

 

Day in and day out she just wants to play fetch with the tennis ball…and not let you have once she has pounced it of course. 

Posted in Beloved Pets, Cats, Fun, Humor, Laughter, Purrl | Leave a Comment »