Umbakumba, Groote Eylandt, August 2014
This project took the form of a series of workshops at the Angurugu, Milyakbara and Umabakumba schools leading up to the execution of a large mural over a few days as a component of the One People, One Voice festival held in Umbakumba. The festival combined day time sports carnivals in AFL football and basketball with bands, dancing and other performances in the evenings. Hosted by the Anandilyakwa Land Council, the festival invited participants from across the Arnhem Land region and was the biggest of it’s kind to be held on Groote Eylandt in many years.
My contribution gave young school students the opportunity to learn some basic stencil and aerosol skills and to use these as components in completing a large mural. All young people were invited to participate in contributing to the painting process over the period of the weekend. The central image of the mural is a depiction of a tiger shark (bankwuja) who was the creator of Umbakumba Bay.
The event was a huge success with many highlights. My own experience was also fantastic- being able to work with a great team, travelling in a tiny plane which felt a little bit like sitting in an airborne 70’s VW beetle, watching the Chooky Dancers whip up a frenzy and having the one and only Percy Bishop seemingly narrate the whole weekend. I look forward to being able to return to this amazing part of the world for future projects.