~ The Art Of Change ~ with Carol Omer ~

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

Archive for the ‘Stolen Generation’ Category

Lorraine Karpany – Strong Mimini and Artist Extraordinaire…

Posted by carolom on December 10, 2010

* I would like to think the artist Lorraine Karpany for giving me permission to share the images and their Story  in my blog. *

Recently I was asked if I would pick up a ‘few ceramic pieces’ from  the local Aboriginal  College and take them to a rural Community  where I was presenting at a Womens Group. The creator of the pieces had been unable to get them to her home and I was very happy to oblige as one of the most enjoyable aspects of my work is meeting other artists and their work.

I thought ‘a few  ceramic pieces‘ meant that I was going to be picking up a few plates and painted china bowls but instead I transported several, profound pieces of clay sculptures that quite literally took my breath away!

Lorraine told me that she began by making a basic clay pot like most people do but very quickly the clay began to take shape and give form to her deeply personal healing journey  that has involved enormous loss and grief and mistreatment by the Australian government who inflicted the theft of Aboriginal children on a whole generation of Australians. My heart was deeply moved by Lorraine’s Story and her resilience is awe inspiring.

The children who were stolen and the parents who were the victims of the child thefts  are known as The Stolen Generation. The unspeakable, multiple  losses and relentless pain that members of The Stolen Generation live with is captured in these pieces.

They are also works of great courage, resilience and outstanding talent.

Lorraine tole me she had never created with clay before but  in six short months developed an outstanding body of work that reveals her enormous talent and originality. She  sells her work so if you are interested in knowing more  what her outstanding Sculptures please  leave a comment below.

I am not qualified to put captions to any of the photos and apologise for the slight blur in some of the images.


Posted in Aboriginal Art, Clay sculpture, Healing, Imagination, Lorraine Karpany, Stolen Generation, Transformation, Wisdom, Women | 4 Comments »

Farewell Ruby Hunter ~ Ngarrindjeri, Kukatha, Pitjantjatjara Woman

Posted by carolom on February 19, 2010

The world is a little less bright today as one of the true Stars of Australian music has passed away.

Ruby Hunter was the first Aboriginal Woman in Australia to secure a record contract with a major record company but her greatest achievement was her love, inspiration and strong role model she was for all Women, most especially Aboriginal Women. She was and will remain a strong voice for Women recovering from violence and abuse.

Ruby, like so many other Aboriginal children, was stolen from her family by the Australian government and this deep trauma lead her to a period of a life on the streets and alcohol…until she met her life partner and Soul Mate, Archie Roach as a teenager…Together they enriched the voice and culture of Australian music forever.

Here are some of the tributes on the Celebrating the Life of Ruby Hunter facebook page….

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“Ruby ‘got’ people, was flexible and was generous with culture and causes. She was ironic and humorous. So many little girls have been named afterher!
Ruby didn’t just survive, she transcended, created and inspired. She mothered the
whole hurting country. Her passing is a deep loss for Australia and for everyone close to her.”

“Ruby, small in size, but her voice and her presence were huge, she could fill an amphitheater with love. She gave a voice to so many who were voiceless, she sang the songs that gave hope to our spirits, and eased our pain when it seemed insurmountable. She will be missed by thousands who she graced with her music, and her spirit lives on in her children, her music & the love she shared with Archie.”

“First time I sang at the Fly By NiteClub Perth as a soloist, it was as a support act for her and Archie….she had such a warm heart….and with her beautiful heart and warmest, down-to-earth, personality, she squeezed my hand and told me, “you’ll be right bub!”….and I will never EVER forget that! My deepest condolences to the family…praying for peace, strength & comfort during this time. Saddest lost…but what a life & testimony to celebrate & remember always! LEGEND!”

“Sometimes I would be hosting a women’s group for Aboriginal Health /d.v. services and was always mindful that there were some things that were not my place to discuss, areas I couldn’t really go to because I’m not an Aboriginal woman. So I’d put on her album “Thoughts Within” …we’d listen to tracks like “Sister”…”Women’s Business” and it would be RUBY HUNTER who would bring the story and the conversations to the room.
I can not find words to express what this has meant over the years except to say move over Mary Mackillop! ”

“As a young Aboriginal Woman…she was my “AUSTRALIAN IDOL ! !”

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Some of Rubys music can be found on youtube.
Archie and Ruby’s music makes sure we never forget the outrageous injustices committed against Aboriginal people…and the resilience and strength that defines the Spirit of the rightful owners of this amazing country we call Australia…

Posted in Aboriginal, Archie Roach, Forgiveness, Friendships, Gratitude, Healing, Injustice, Journeys, Kukatha, Magic, Mimini, Ngarrindjeri, Pitjantatjara, Racism, Ruby Hunter, Stolen Generation, Warrior Women | 4 Comments »

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 »

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:

making-nungalas-beads.jpg

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:

goddess-beads.jpg

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…

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