~ The Art Of Change ~ with Carol Omer ~

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

Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

The Magical Child in Exile. Why does the Creative Well-being run dry?

Posted by carolom on June 21, 2017

Every child is born an artist, the problem is how to remain one. Pablo Picasso

 

Creativity is Oxygen

The Magical Child in Exile is a dramatised story written for people who have yet to reclaim their creative Magical Child in order to experience the mental, emotional and spiritual well being of the naturally free flowing creative state.

While the story makes sweeping statements about  the competitive education system for the purpose of dramatising the impact of how we can lose  connection to our innately creative state, I would  like  to acknowledge the wise, creative, fun loving  teachers who recognise that creativity should not be left behind in the eclectic  gallery of  kindergarten and  continue to value it as an important component of the learning process. These teachers  are the gate keepers for the Artists Soul.

Where does the unlimited imagination, the energy creativity and passion of childhood go? We start out at the kindergarten level oblivious to skin colour, cultural differences and economic status, yet have created a society that has so many divisions and ‘isms’.

As a maturing society we are face racism, sexism, agism and the complex needs of  people who are isolated, mentally unwell and disconnected from their fellow human beings. In the journey from kindergarten to adolescence and adulthood many people have learnt to believe in the differences that set us apart rather than celebrate and engage with the broad range of differences from within the sameness of our shared humanity.

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Why does gossip and drama preoccupy so many people  these day and why do tabloids and celebrity gossip have such a strong hold that feeds social media and popular culture?

I think it began in a land far and near in  times as long ago as yesterday and  today…

The Magical Child in Exile

Once upon a time there was a Magical Child who loved to draw and dance and sing and paint and laugh and play. Some days the Magical Child just twirled and swirled in circles for the sheer pleasure of it all.

The Magical Child even had an invisible friend and all the grown ups thought that was very cute, just as cute as when the Magical Child played ‘make believe’ and “I can do and be any thing”.When the Magical Child was sad, tears flowed. When the Magical Child was happy, laughter cascaded.

When the Magical Child was angry there were big yells and sometimes a full-body splat onto the ground as the tsunami of outrage and disappointment is just too much for a  little person to contain. However as soon as the moment was processed the discordant energy left their body leaving the cells free to breathe and grow and remain in their healthy natural state.

But by and bye-bye something happened one day!

The Magical Child was in the midst of telling one of the grown up’s about a funny little make believe story when the grown up said, stop being silly! You can’t keep pretending like that! You are a big girl now! 

They had said the same thing to her brother not so long ago. You are a big boy now. Stop crying. You’re not a baby! STOP IT.”

The Magical Child was shocked and her shock was accompanied by an unpleasant feeling inside of her tummy that took a long time to go away. It was a shaming,  conforming moment. A matter of fact moment that began to alter the course of the Magical Childs life forever.

A shaming moment that would seep into the recesses of the subconscious mind and like a noxious weed, eventually choke the fertile magic-making  soil as surely as if a nuclear land scape  had been dropped in the new’clear landscape of the Childs mind.

And so it began. The artist, the story teller, the dancer , the scribe, the prophet , the mystic all living and breathing through the imagination  – the I’magi’nation-  of the Magical Child was told to stop!   Be quiet!  Don’t dance on there you’ll fall!   Sit down.   Don’t be silly.   Stop fidgeting.  Stop asking so many questions!   STOP!

On and on the commands continued. All the way through school where the Magical Child was now only permitted to create only between 10 am and 11 am (art lesson), to tell stories between 2 and 3 on Tuesdays. (English lesson). Creating whilst remaining as motionless as humanly impossible.  Stop fidgeting! Stop day dreaming! Pay attention! A’tension indeed!

Facing the front board, often bored inside of a square box   they called a room, a box  where whirling, twirling, playfulness no longer came through the door,  banned from ever mentioning invisible friends lest you invite the horrors of medication and mislabeling before you have even learnt how to tie your shoes up properly, the Magical Children sought to become what was expected of them and learn about things beyond their Magical, creative realm.

The Magical Child quickly learnt not to show sadness, anger or confusion and to repress inappropriate eruptions of joy, fear or insecurity in the class room.

Of course eventually the Magical Child stopped completely. Making sure instead to h~o~l~d~It~In!! Sit Still! Eyes to the front…STOP whispering, laughing, talking. Stop. Stop. Stop.

A kind of who-I-Am-amnesia set in.

Forgetting about the art, the magic, the songs, the dances and the stories and instead replaced those Magical currents with learning the things that the teacher insisted was important to their current learning, competing with the other lost Magical Children in the sports yard, in the academic arena and eventually in the work place. If they were able to still function that is.
Magical Children are resilient and they are able to forget if it means freedom from the shaming, the naming, the labeling and the ire of the grown ups but some succumbed to their true self in spite of the challenges and sometimes became known as disruptive, troubled learner, withdrawn , different and uncooperative and  other such names that reveal an inability to conform to the lost-Magic around them.

So was born the latest generation of leaders, lost Magical Children, who will perpetuate the lost-magic and creativity of the system. A system saturated with lost Magical Children, living unreal lives, not even realising – real’eyesing – that who they have become is not who they were meant to be.

Not. who. they. were. meant. to. be.

Many of the Magical Children, now groan-ups themselves are still h-o-l-d-i-n-g—i-t—-i-n. It is not surprising many of the once-magical-minds of the grown up’s  became choked with the weeds of mental illness, alcoholism, drug dependency, neurosis, psychosis, anger, depression, boredom and frustration, competition and back biting and preoccupation with celebrity lives and drama!

Magical Children are full of pure, free flowing creative energy and energy can not be destroyed, it simply transforms, turning toxic, creating tragic from the magic.

Millions of grown up’s are lost Magical Children in varying degrees of exile though a few do escape and return to their natural state I hear. Perhaps this is  why a nation can be preoccupied reality television and obsessed with the lives of the stars! The gods and goddesses of magic and creativity who not only stayed connected to make believe and pretend but are richly rewarded for doing so. They delight audiences who sit still in their chairs, immersed in intrigue and adoration, seeing the world of possibility in the magic-mirror of television.

No longer creating and producing their own stories and art and dance, the need for fantasy and magic nevertheless remains ever strong. Indeed when Magical Children in exile see others leading a “magical life” something within their own self may yearn to return to that place of Magic, creativity and infinite potential for love and connection.

How many people are sighing their day away, feeling that something is missing not realising that ‘Something’ is their free flowing creative Self. It even has been names the mid life crisis  and the seven year itch and finding meaning and purpose in life. Like the kind of meaning and purpose we knew as creative children I guess

Sadly though the lost story teller may now be churning out reams of tragic rather than experiencing that once familiar creative magic. Workplace gossip, chaos and unhappy relationships, forever telling wounded story teller tales to friends and family, occasionally plummeting into the deepest chasms of depression and despair, overwhelmed by the tragedy of an uninspired life.

Depression is on the rise in the western world and there must be a reason why.

I know a lost artist who now  obsessively cleans a clean house and a former magical child inventor who  weeds a weed less garden seeking to create something of note in their world, processing those ever-flowing creative energies towards their small boxed in life.

If it is true that in order to experience heaven one must become like a little child then it might well be that the Magical Children who are no-longer-in-exile, those who have recovered from the amnesia and remembered who I Am, will be the ones to remind us  how to begin the wonderful journey back to our authentic, creative  self and to reclaim what was always within.

After all the word reclaim is simply the word miracle in anagram disguise!

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http://www.CarolOmer.com

Posted in Art, Childhood, Creativity, Lifes Stories, Magic, Oneness, Peace, Spirituality, The Art of Change, The Big Girls Little Colouring Book, The Magical Child in Exile | 28 Comments »

Create New Dreams. Seeding the Future Vision

Posted by carolom on March 20, 2017

Families Creating. Growing  and Flourishing Together.

We had a wonderful weekend camp, thanks to the women  who came from two Communities to join us in the Riverland.

Along with the Mandala art and making clay beads, we work-shopped the Vision for the Womens groups and then painted terra cotta pots and planted the Sunflower seeds that will grow along with the new changes.

Thankyou to the women for allowing us to photograph the art work and capture the many wonderful moments where Nanas and great grandchildren, Elders and younger women sat and enjoyed the  creative processes  together.

What better way to spend a weekend in the Riverland sun in Ngarrindjeri country?

Deanna Nungala and I feel very privileged to have been invited to host the Celeberating our Community ART of Change camp and look forward to our Miminis Nopin ventures when we can return the gifting by visiting the women and seeing how the sunflowers have grown.

Miminis Nopin – Women on the Move.

Women overcoming the pain of the past and seeding the Vision for the Future.

Art based activities that young and old  can enjoy together.

Deanna and I wearing the clay necklaces we made during the Apology week, to honor the Mothers whose children were stolen from them.  Nungala is a Stolen Generation survivor and a Warrior Woman of the heart in the truest sense.

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Our Vision Workshopping Board.

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Painting the clay beads they have rolled earlier in the day is wonderful for concentration for the little kids and fun~creativity for all ages.

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Little sister can create and paint her own beads too!

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This pot-painter will seed some fantastic changes for her  Community over the coming years.

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The gorgeous smile that lights up rooms and hearts.

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Our Chef extraordinaire took time out from her delicious food-making to paint a pot of her own.

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Lady birds for good luck turned up on the top of this artists work.

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As you can see.

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Mother and Daughter creating together. They have a vegie garden at home and the new Sunflowers might fill that garden one day!

One single  seed births the seeds of many new flowers over one single season.

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Seeding the Vision is a journey of process, attention, watering and  patience.

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All  pots are sealed with varnish and the forward lean, with head titled upward is a spraying skill.

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Posted in Art, Australia, Beauty, Change, Community, Creativity, Dreaming, Elders, Fun, Grandmothers, Imagination, Joy, Magic, Ngarrindjeri, Prosperity, Sisterhood, Social Artistry, Warrior Women, Women | 3 Comments »

‘Always Remembered’. Honouring the Women and Children and Pets who have died…

Posted by carolom on February 18, 2017

I was invited to facilitate The ART Of Change  program Always Remembered

A group of women who had each experienced trauma and violence wanted to create art work that honors the lives of the women and children and pets who have lost their life in domestic violence and to inspire other women to claim their power to leave an abusive relationship.

We created black and white mandalas  for coloring in as a meditation and relaxation colouring book  for women living in shelters and emergency accommodation and we also used the designs to create book marks and badges.

The women who participated in this amazing project experienced a significant culmination of their own journey of recovery from domestic violence and will now be taking the message of Always Remembered  and the power of art for healing and empowerment, back to some of the shelters where their journey first began.

My life long friend was killed by her husband in 2001, he then killed himself and my friends sstory and the memorial art I created in the week after her death inspired me to share in the message of the importance of our right to be safe, loved and respected at all times..



Posted in Art, Community, Creativity, Domestic Violence, Imagination, Journeys, Justice, Lifes Stories, Oneness, Relationships, Sisterhood, Social Artistry, The Art of Change, Warrior Women, Wealth, Wisdom | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

The Warrior Woman template as a life coaching & community development tool

Posted by carolom on January 7, 2017

As a life coach and  empowerment artist working in the areas of domestic violence and cultural diversity I recognise that creativity, art, story, song, dance and music are the tools and activities that affirm women’s strengths and interconnectedness regardless of our cultural background.

Engaging with art in a communal setting creates a place where we can celebrate our connections and share the richness of the stories and experiences that define our cultural and individual uniqueness.

I am very appreciative to the women who attended a  Women’s ART of Change  Empowerment & Life Coaching Camp and allowed us to photograph some of the sessions. By doing so we can share the powerful message that sharing and creating together is the answer to crossing the cultural and language barriers that can prevent women from coming together.

When women from CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) settings engage with this form of  life coaching tools they are able to express their unique culture as expressed through the templates that are the equivalent of the hand outs and power point presentations in most  training environments.

Art and creative expression is a unifying medium across all cultures and a powerful medium for sharing our stories and expressing our vision for the future.

We had a Warrior Woman’s Empowerment Workshop on camp. From black and white templates, the Warrior Woman is created…

The Warrior Woman…
Her head~dress represents developing the power of the mind to overcome obstacles and adversity. Cultivating thought patterns and mental focus for creating the life we envisage for our selves and our children.

Her large heart symbolises the importance of remaining compassionate and connected to others whilst not being overwhelmed by the d.v cycle of promises and repetitive abuse. This is especially significant when recovering from domestic violence as safe personal boundaries are core to keeping the family safe.

Her wings remind us that our mental well being and health requires  balance in our emotions, mind, physical and social health.

Introducing the Warrior Women theme for the day:

Phoenix Woman was created as a way to express changes that came about through trials and difficulties.

Stories of the past and stories of the children’s future are shared as we create the warrior woman.

Two communities came together on the 2nd day of the camp.

Patty created her Warrior Woman’s Headress using spirals of wool…

Sisters…We are all the same within regardless of the skin we are in..

Posted in Aboriginal, Art, Australia, CALD Women, Change, Community, Creativity, Imagination, Life Coaching, Lifes Stories, Love, Peace, Social Artistry, The Art of Change, Transformation, Warrior Women, Wisdom | Leave a 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 »

Button Beads and Squashed Creativity….

Posted by carolom on March 8, 2009

My Mum came around the other day to paint the button beads we had made for a top she has knitted.
The beads are inspired by regular buttons and we are also making necklaces from them:

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…we enjoyed spending time painting them, making a mess, ruining a couple …and talking…
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Something happens when you sit and create together…stories begin to flow and memories are remembered as the peaceful, alpha-wave state of creativity inspires the busy mind to slow down … it is a form of open eyed meditation…

Mum was telling me stories from her childhood during the second world war in England. Educated by Nuns who had little time or tolerance for the self indulgence of ‘art’ and ‘creativity’…Mum drew me an image of the only avenue there was for creative expression…to copy a pattern within a pre-existing grid!

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Thankfully Mum was able to live a creative life in spite of the repression of teachers viewing creativity close to sinful, artistic passion as selfish indulgence and individuality as yet another flaw in an already suspect Soul.

My two sisters and I are blessed to have both parents alive and well, married 52 years this year…and we are equally blessed beyond measure that our Mother did not lost her creative self in the shaming and vilifying atmosphere of an institution that today is having to face its many flaws and past errors.

Posted in Art, Childhood, Creativity, Gratitude, ProsperArty, Spirituality, Transformation, Women | 1 Comment »

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……

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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 »

Another “Bead Happy” process completed…

Posted by carolom on November 20, 2008

They say that you are living  your passion if you answer  “Yes!”  to the question…“Would you still do the work that you do if you were rich enough not to have to work at all?”….My answer is “Yes indeedy-do!!”…I’d just drive a different car to the venue!

To spend time creating Personal Development art with Women who are walking through journeys of change, healing and Creating New Dreams…is such a privilege……and a whole lotta fun!

Here are a few images from our 5-week “Don’t Worry- Bead Happy ART of Change program 2…

We begin with a formless lump of air-drying clay, thinking about what we would like to create in our life…how things would look and feel in the ‘ideal’ world. We roll and twist and shape and from beads and add a pendant that defines the shape of things to come…

By week 5 have created our own Vision jewellery with our own unique fingerprints pressed into the clay…completing the process by spraying the beads with gloss sealer and hanging them in the afternoon sun to dry.

Rolling the beads is a form of meditation, very relaxing and as the process gets under way, the brain waves relax into the alpha rhythms as the rhythmic, repetitive actions slow down the busy mind chatter and return one to a more centered, present moment focus. It is a very enjoyable, highly effective way for people with mental health issues, stress, anxiety and depression to creatively activate a different ‘state’ and access positive creativity over the negative forms of creating thoughts that are anxiety, stress related images.

We think about color and form once the beads are made…. with  relaxing music in the background and conversations around change, personal development and creating the life we want by over coming past patterns and limitations our learning and sharing is focused on  the “How” of change not just the reasons ‘why’…and all what has happened in the troubled past…

 

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Posted in Art, Community, Creativity, Lifes Stories, Oneness, Peace, The Art of Change, Wisdom | 3 Comments »

Makinti Napanangka wins top Indigenous art prize

Posted by carolom on August 16, 2008

Winner … Makinti Napanangka (AAP: Paul Exline)

An artist from the Kintore community west of Alice Springs has won the country’s richest Indigenous art prize.

The winners of this year’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award were announced at the Museum and Art Gallery in Darwin last night.

Thousands of people converged on the gallery to celebrate the award’s 25th anniversary.

Makinti Napanangka from Kintore won the top $40,000 prize for her painting on linen.

The $4,000 general painting award went to Doreen Reid Nakamarra from Western Australia for her painting about a rockhole.

Last year’s top award winner Dennis Nona from the Torres Strait Islands won the Works on Paper prize.

More than 300 art works were entered in this year’s award and around 100 pieces which made the final cut are on display at the Museum and Art Gallery in Darwin until October.

Hetti Perkins from the Art Gallery of New South Wales helped judge this year’s collection.

Ms Perkins says the winning painting has a lot in common with the artist.

“It’s very dynamic and charismatic and I have to say that she, from what I know about her, Makinti is very like that,” she said.

“She’s quite elderly now but I think her enthusiasm for art making remains undiluted.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/08/16/2337310.htm

Posted in Aboriginal, Art, Spirituality | 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 »