Thursday, September 2, 2010

Card City

i wanted to do a project with the artists and after going to Darwin Art fair we noticed that a lot of the things that were being sold were more merchandise - bags, shirts, mugs etc - I think people were a lot more willing to spend $40 on a shirt that $100 on a small artwork.
We were talking cards before the fair as they are a good thing to have as people when they come to the centre like to have something that they can buy as a souvenir if they dont have the means or inclination to purchase an artwork.

We got three artists to draw on small lino blocks - Herman who had done a wood block before was happy to carve straight into his - but Daphne and Susie were not keen on carving it so chris and I had a go for them -It was hard to get across as they hadn't done something like this before how it works and how the image will come out - once we printed a few cards it was a lot clearer to the artists and they became a lot more intrested in the lino rather than when they were doing their designs- its hard like anything if you haven't done it before to picture how it will come out - I've found that visual references are really handy in explaining things and having an example of what you are talking about helps .

There has been three deaths that have effected the community - in aboriginal culture the family structure is so complex it makes my head spin - people have a lot of obligation to their family and everything else takes a back seat.

Cementry at Ikuntji

Graves are filled with fake flowers

Sorry Business is the period of mourning after someone has passed. This can go on for weeks depending on the circumstances and the funeral they hold a Sorry camp - which is normally out of town where they mourn. Most of the artists and all of the old ladies have to go to a sorry camp in Kintore which is about another 300k or so west almost on the WA border. I find it interesting that the old ladies are willing to travel so far for their obligations.

There are a lot of family obligations that must be attended - and it's hard as a manager in the center where you need people to paint - and to have a good stock of painting for upcoming shows and people can be away for weeks - even months as Chris had at her old art centre in Nooka - where they had sorry business for three months!!

So luckily we got the artworks for the cards done before all of this business - but I would have like to have made the cards with the artists - or at least had them more involved - but now Chris is confident in making them and we also have all the tools so it can be something that can carry on when they do get back - hopefully they will be back next week so we can go on a bush trip before I go - but they will take as long as it takes!

finished cards in packs of 6 with 2 of each design.