Us With You

Aligned to coincide with GC32018, the Aboriginal art exhibition ‘Us With You’ gives locals and tourists a chance to explore the unique beauty of the Gold Coast Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community’s art and culture.

Following our visit to the exhibition, we accepted the invitation to return to FSG in Southport (the site of the Aboriginal art exhibition) to share a dinner featuring bush and ‘Aboriginal tucker’ foods in the context of modern cuisine with accompanying storytelling, music and art, themed Us With You (Ngullingi Ya Wahlu).

Julie Marsh (FSG) and Julie Newton (representing the community) welcomed guests and introduced us to artists present and the exhibition’s curator, Mark Cora, from Arts Development in the Tweed Rivers region.

“Many people comment how hard it must be, getting this exhibition together. However, curating an exhibition such as this, art speaks for itself,” Mark tells us.

Unfortunately, they point out, about 80% of Aboriginal art in souvenir shops is fake or mass-produced and copied overseas, albeit sometimes from an original authentic piece of art.

The purpose of this exhibition is to feature artists, many of whom were present that night: Paul Bong (whose works are featured in Brisbane international Airport and the National Gallery), Jason Passfield (artist and glass engraver), M. Henry (whose gorgeous black and gold paintings are luminous) and Torry, and renowned artist Chern’ee Sutton, amongst others.

Artefacts and artworks, Walaaybaa Timber created by Darryl Ferguson, are also luminous, some inlaid with opal.

Mark outlined the philosophy of the exhibition, pointing out that the art has a purpose.

“Through art, aboriginal peoples pass on the story of their land and how to gather food.

Our airport was the place where big camps were held during the mullet season (which is on at present),” Mark tells. “Now, the airport brings in visitors to share the feast and to celebrate our beautiful coastline. We need to walk lightly on our land, keeping it safe for generations to come.”

As Phillip Collins from Cunnamulla played the digeridoo, Mark thanked FSG for the opportunity to exhibit in their premises.

We dined on food prepared by Julie Ellis, an indigenous chef from NSW:

Damper buns filled with kangaroo, Handmade lemon myrtle pasta with mudcrab, Roasted wattleseed, chocolate and kumara brownie with mascarpone, kumara and roasted wattleseed syrup.

Later, we tasted Sobah craft non-alcoholic beer created by Clinton and Lozen Schultz using native food botanicals. It was a new product launch, but we’re sure to hear a lot more of this great product!

The art exhibition at 20 Railway St., Southport runs from 7am – 7.30pm until 15 April 2018 for the duration of GC2018. This is a FREE event.

NOTE: Some photos credited to Craig O’Sullivan and FSG. Details here.

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