~ The Art Of Change ~ with Carol Omer ~

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

Archive for the ‘Adelaide’ Category

Your licence is about to expire…

Posted by carolom on November 4, 2015

Your licence is about to expire…

Nestled in between two busy main roads
that were once dirt tracks winding between churches
and blue stone cottages
Rickety roads where horses kicked up dust
and the creaking milk cart was a welcome sound

Sits the Old Road Cemetery

IMG_1985A large impeccably kept burial ground
with rows and rows of gravestones
that depict a life narrative in one line
Many of the stories begin and end with
a death over a hundred years ago

Google –which is a word that had not emerged from the ether
when those original shovels tossed dirt
upon the first of many hundreds of coffins
will tell you that Daisy Bates
who set up camp with Aboriginal people

and wrote about her version of them is
in the Old Road Cemetery

Edmund Wright that renowned architect
and former Lord Mayor of Adelaide
and Edward Charles Stirling,
the first person in Australasia
to introduce a bill for women’s suffrage
are resting in eternal peace under the guardianship
of angels that fly motionlessly
whilst peak hour traffic speeds slowly by

IMG_1990Thousands of people are laid to rest
at this tranquil cemetery where the expired flowers
of the old Jacaranda trees
transform into purple snow in December
and cover bleached white headstones and red rusted railings

Young Eliza May who passed away in 1907
was only fifteen years old
her sister Lilly who barely saw life past one year
had died before her in 1895
Such a sad family story written in black letters on
pristine stone that has carried their tragedy for 120 years
Some of the letters bleed black dye
as if the headstone weeps in their honour

Bereaved mothers and inconsolable lovers
Families bound by sorrow
Friends who farewelled the young man who
died by his own hand
have all walked upon this ground

Many of them are now also buried and interned
inside of ornate coffins that cocoon them
into the tranquillity of Mother Earth

Others have become ashes tossed to the earth,
the waters
the wind
and the fires

I often walk through this cemetery with wonder
This story book of happenstance and tragedy,
with tablet headstones
bursting with lines of anguished poetry
and philosophical levity

It was at the start of my short-cut walk
through the Old Road Cemetery that something very
unusual caught my eye
At the entrance, attached to the notice board where
funeral notices and Old Souls day events
are announced
was an eye-catching, attention seeking poster
of headstones covered in thick black plastic.

They headstones looked like besieged hostages
hapless victims of torture and oppression
This puzzling somewhat disturbing site
required stopping,
getting out the reading glasses
and peering at the small writing to fully grasp
exactly what was going on

Warning sign

A heavy handed caution
reminiscent of the grim reaper ads
that prophesised impending doom back
when the Aids virus was new and we were ignorant
was written under the plastic covered headstone
Don’t let this happen to you!

It seems that in some cemeteries but not this one…yet
graves that have not had their licence renewed were being shut down!

This was confirmed as I walked through the old section and saw
rows and rows of aging graves with yellow notices stuck to the stone
Daisy May and Lilly’s graves that appeared undisturbed since 1905
now had a yellow parking ticket that said:

“The licence to this plot has expired
Please contact the Old Road Cemetery Office for renewal options
(email and telephone number provided)

IMG_1975Needless to say
I felt a wave of dismay
I have never seen flowers of remembrance
upon Daisy May and Lilly’s grave

I strolled past the resting place of George and Jack
side by side in their father and son burial plot
their sad story embossed ornately in stone in 1897
On the bottom of the headstone a simply written
statement of unwavering faith
Reunited with Grandmother in Heaven

 

 

Further down the row James and Emily Jones’s husband and wife plot

eerily reminiscent of a perfectly made cement double bed

Long forgotten and undisturbed
had also been tagged by the uncompromising slip of yellow paper
that cautioned non existent relatives
and summoned families who no longer walk upon this earth

Salutations and blessings penned by grieving family and friends
overshadowed by slips of yellow paper
announcing the grave site is now in the first stages of
negotiation and relocation

IMG_1992Old Road Cemetery has been targeted
by visual and confronting imagery
plucked from the information highway
I wonder what will become of Eliza May and Lilly
all those old, unattended graves
and the army of flightless angels who guard them?

Posted in Adelaide, Adelaide architecture, Stories | 1 Comment »

Artists from the Tanami Desert share their amazing skills, beauty and knowledge through the Stories of each Painting……

Posted by carolom on November 3, 2010

It was a small launch at La Caz Creole Cafe  / Restaurant @ 61 Semaphore Road.

The sun was shining and the Cafe was brimming with good food, great art and the Artists themselves – a great privilege for all of us who were there!

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It was great to see people purchasing the Art work, one piece in particular is  a traditional  story that the Artist Andrea shared with me in great detail. Thank you Andrea and for allowing me to take a photo before it was taken down and rolled up to be taken to  the police-car by the officer who  came along with some of his colleagues. He was thrilled with his purchase and both were very happy with the transaction.

I was especially interested in the central object with the white feathering . Andrea told me that is a ceremonial stick with Cockatoo feathers. She laughed when I asked if that was a Turtle just below the central circles  (so would you if you know how far their Country is from the sea) …

 

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You can see there is a huge variety of canvases…each one with its own Story and amazing blend of colours, brush strokes and traditional forms…

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The unique style of blending traditional dot work so skillfully with the large ‘comma’ shaped stroke takes such skill and precision. The colours on this one invokes of all of the elements. Yuendumu country is Desert country and the Artist how us that there is fare more to the Desert Country than the rest of us could ever  know…

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The variety of Art for sale is extraordinary and as pieces are sold, new pieces will be put up on the walls…so make a few visits.

If you are an over seas person who is interested in Aboriginal Art, get in touch with the Yuendumu representatives and discuss the possibility of an on line purchase. All money goes directly to the Artists.

 

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It would be wonderful if this positive, amazingly talented group of Artists receive wide spread recognition  for their highly skilled work and vast knowledge of their Country and the Stories that  few people over seas  – and in this country –  are familiar with…

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As I mentioned at the start of this story, I was very surprised that these highly skilled canvases are for sale at such  an outrageously reasonable price  and I’d like to suggest if you do purchase a piece, you consider the on-going support of the Yuendumu Artists and invest in their work as it becomes available…

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This piece was also sold almost before it was hung, the gold paint blending in with traditional colours made this piece glow!

The person who purchased this rich piece could  have their heating bills reduced I’m sure!….

 


So if you have the opportunity, get along to la Caz Creole Cafe @ 61 Semaphore Road. Have a coffee and immerse yourself in the fantastic work of the Artists who belong to the oldest living culture in the world and are so generously sharing their magnificent work with the people of Adelaide…and beyond.

Posted in Aboriginal, Aboriginal Art, Adelaide, Art, Australia, Community, Journeys, la Caz Creole Cafe, Seven Sisters, Tanami Desert, Uncategorized, Yendumu | 5 Comments »

Light, Shapes & Changing City~Scapes…

Posted by carolom on August 11, 2010

The City West Campus of Adelaide University is built over, around and amongst some of Adelaide’s oldest buildings.

At a certain time of the day, from the third floor of the Bob Hawke Centre the late afternoon sun casts a glow and a shadow over two very contrasting displays of Adelaide architecture.

I just happened to be there as the light began to change…


Posted in Adelaide, Adelaide architecture, City West Campus, Late afternoon sun, North Terrace, Old and new buildings | Leave a Comment »

Spirit Festival on Kaurna country (Adelaide) 2008

Posted by carolom on December 14, 2008

The photos say it all…Proud young Black Australians dancing in the Spirit of New Dreams, celebrating the Old Ways…as the healing and restoration unfolds…..

Family, song , dance, connection, Culture and open spaces without walls….

 
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Posted in Aboriginal, Adelaide, Community, Dreaming, Kaurna, Peace, Spirit Festival 2008, Spirituality, Unity | 3 Comments »

The Nunga TV – Smart Mob – The Car that makes people smile….

Posted by carolom on December 7, 2008

Sometimes when we are out and about I forget that we are driving in the NungaTV car- so beautifully painted by Mark Blackman and the Warriappendi students. People often smile and some feel compelled to wave…such is the Spirit of connection and appreciation that Aboriginal Art invokes. Although if I have forgotten about the outside of the car, it does feel as if people are just waving and smiling because they are having a good day!…….(;-)

With the NungaTV car, it’s as if people are seeing a mobile dot-painting for the first time.  

And they are of course!……..

 

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Even  grown men, when they  stand near the NungaTV car, just want to play!….

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The EarthSong Brothers………

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Great to see Tony again after nearly 15 years and to be able to share in the   EarthSong vision together…….

Posted in Adelaide, Community, Dreaming, Fun, NungaTV, Smart Mob, Transformation | 2 Comments »

It’s official….’ProsperArty’ has been named, signed and sealed!

Posted by carolom on December 3, 2008

Last year I began the process to trademark the name “ProsperArty”…a name I created to define my ART of Change tools and programs.

ProsperArty = Experiencing Prosperity by using the mediums of Art / Creativity.

Prosperity as I define it, is  to develop, grow  and flourish in what ever areas we value and consider to be  important…ProsperArty is a personal journey on a Universal theme that recognises the balance and harmony of nature and the creative state.

I had an afternoon tea with some of the Women I have worked with in the past, currently work with or have projects emerging throughout 2009…

It was a wonderful afternoon with some great food… unfortunately in  the images below  my ProsperArty guests are absent, as we were too busy nattering and chattering in our talking circle and eating and laughing to remember to take photos.

However I did capture the food!…and the flowers…and a few other things from the day…beginning with the Zebra that pulled up out the front just as we were getting under way…a noisy Zebra that came to trim trees and chomp branches! Before long we were noisier than the tree munching Zebra of course!

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Sal made chocolate mousse that I decorated with mint and twelve white chocolate buttons…representing the Clock..because “It’s Time” for ProsperArty……

mmmmmousse

 

Sa’s gorgeous daughter Gemma made lime and lemon tart…I made peanut crunchie biscuits and apricot with white chocolate and almond balls…What a high calorie, yummy launch!

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I chose the Celtic triple spiral theme (Triskele)  for the ProsperArty gift …we had a lot of fun threading them onto elastic to create a pendant. The 7 purple dots represent the 7 Sisters…that cluster of stars that has birthed  mythology and Dreaming stories right across the planet.. There were 7 Women present at the time, more guests  arrived later …

My recent trip to Matariki bay- bay of the 7 Sisters in Aotearoa (New Zealand) is a significant part of the essence of  ProsperArty…

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I liked how the river stone-shaped  pendants looked in their circle before sharing them around. (Made with air drying das clay, painted with acrylics and sealed with high gloss varnish. I drew the design with permanet marker)

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My Trademark Certification…ProsperArty…

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Pilawuk made a gift of the most breath taking silk wall hanging based on some of my ProsperArty designs…if you look closely you can see the Warrior Woman image in the centre..and on the sides forming “Yesterday, today and tomorrow”…a theme from my invitation…      

Magic!!…thank you Pilawuk…Silk Queen Goddess!

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Here is a side view…aren’t the colours just deliciously  ProsperArteous?!

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Thankyou to my former colleagues Cathy, Desi and the Malvern Place team for the flowers and words of great encouragement and good will…

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A lovely afternoon with a group of Women who live and breathe the essence of ProsperArty’s highest hopes and dreams…..

Let the Magic begin!

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“ProsperArty” was dreamt and created on traditional Aboriginal Land and I acknowledge the Kaurna people as the custodians of this part of the country and recognise the authority  of the  Dreamtime as holding the key to many of the challenges we are facing in Australia today.

Posted in Adelaide, Art, Beauty, Community, Creativity, Friendships, Gratitude, Imagination, ProsperArty, Sisterhood, Social Artistry, The Art of Change, Uncategorized, Warrior Women, Women | Leave a Comment »

EarthSong Aboriginal Healing Pathways Foundation is Incorporated…

Posted by carolom on September 27, 2008

We are very pleased to announce that EarthSong is now officially incorporated as of September 8th 2008.

Here are two of our founding members Misters John Hartley and John Williams holding our certificate of Incorporation.


If you are interested in learning more about EarthSong, who we are and what we are doing, please checkout the Facebook EarthSong Aboriginal Healing PathwaysFoundation group here:
EarthSong….Putting Action to the shared Vision for Change…

Photo update on our first working bee….

Posted in Aboriginal, Adelaide, Community, Domestic Violence, Elders, Forgiveness, Friendships, Healing, Journeys, Justice, Kaurna, Men and Women, Poverty, Power of Focus, Prosperity, Reconciliation, Staff Training, Wisdom | Leave a Comment »

Lighting the Fire in a room without walls…

Posted by carolom on July 16, 2008

Lit the fire for the first time this winter and we sat outside under a windy, wintery sky breathing in the heat and enjoying the warmth of good company and one of my very favourite Elements of all…

Posted in Adelaide, Fire, Friendships, Garden, Gratitude, Lifes Stories, Love, Nature, Oneness | Leave a Comment »

NAIDOC 2008 – Adelaide

Posted by carolom on July 16, 2008

Here are three gorgeous gals who caught up with one another during the NAIDOC march and Family day on the banks of the River Torrens.

Katrina Power, Pilwauk White and Jo Rigney…

Posted in Aboriginal, Adelaide, Art, Change, Community, Creativity, Dreaming, Family, Friendships, Stolen Generation, Warrior Women, Women | 1 Comment »

The heART of the Apology …

Posted by carolom on July 5, 2008

We are having the launch of the heART of the Apology exhibition on Wednesday.

There were 11 posters created during the Apology at Elder Park here in Adelaide in the ‘heART’ Space that we established as a way to give ordinary Australians, of all colour, culture and creed a place to express their thoughts and feelings in a way that was divorced from the political footballing and rhetoric that was flooding the media in the months….and years … leading up to the Apology.

 

There was sadness and there were years and there was joy…

My buddy Katrina has worked for justice for many years and like so many other Aboriginal Women. her courage and resilience in the face of systemic racism have been out standing.

Posted in Aboriginal, Adelaide, Australia, Dreaming, Forgiveness, Friendships, Healing, Justice, Kaurna, Lifes Stories, Reconciliation, Relationships, Sorry Day Feb 2008, Stolen Generation, Stories, Transformation, Trauma, Unity | Leave a Comment »