Aboriginal Programs

Awabakal Dreaming

January – July 2001

Awabakal Dreaming was a cultural partnership project resulting from the ARG’s and local Aboriginal community’s desire to pay tribute to the Awabakal people by celebrating their ‘water place’ stories.

The process involved storytelling sessions by the late and much respected Elders Uncle Cyril Archibald and Uncle Ken McBride, joined by other community members. The stories told in these sessions were used as a basis for the design, along with the artists’ research. It was agreed that stylistically the group would steer away from the Western notion of perspective and the better known Indigenous dot-painting styles that emanate from the desert areas, in favour of a design that better reflected the ‘local’, such as petroglyphs (or rock carvings).

The completed mosaic is positioned in pride of place at the entrance to the gallery and comprises symbols of the local environment and Creation Beings such as Biame, Biraban and Kow-wah. It is a day-today reminder of the ongoing relationship between the ARG, the community and the gallery.

Artists:

  • Douglas Archibald
  • Jim Ridgeway
  • Paul Maher
  • with members of the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community
  • with installation support by Mark Johnson

A gallery project coordinated by Susan Ryman and supported by the Australia Council for the Arts’ Community Partnership Program

Photo: artists Paul Maher, Jim Ridgeway and Doug Archibald with the design for Awabakal Dreaming

artists Paul Maher,
Jim Ridgeway and Doug Archibald
with the design for Awabakal Dreaming