Wednesday 23 March 2016
By Ginninderry Project Team

Ginninderry Joint Venture is proud to be sponsoring an Indigenous Men’s Art Group in West Belconnen that aims to link creative projects with artistic and environmental outcomes.

Running at Strathnairn Arts since August 2015, the participants learn about and create with a range of materials and techniques in a hands-on, assessment-free, mutually encouraging and talkative setup. Tutors are drawn from the art centre’s active membership who have skills across a wide range of arts and crafts.

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Photo supplied courtesy of Strathnairn Arts Association

This term, the Group is undertaking a general introduction to ceramics. Within a semi-structured outline, the blokes have been coiling, rolling, pinching and modelling various types of clay. They’ve made bowls, mugs, goannas, coolamons, vases, skulls as well as ceremonial weapons with engraved and coloured symbolic/cultural patterns and iconography. They’ve made and used plaster moulds for producing multiple copies of some items, allowing for later commercial reproduction lines. All the work is kiln-fired to exhibition quality.

Some regulars are working on didges. Some want to move on to work with wood and metal, and do carving, casting, and constructing. Each person develops his own project within the field opened right up by the tutor. It’s the attendees who create the atmosphere and the vision for what happens next.

President of Strathnairn Arts Alaine King said that at Strathnairn, “the natural precinct inspires many artists to be creative, and we hope that it can do the same for this group of people!”

Following a successful pilot project, the Men’s Group is growing and is always on the lookout for new members, as it contributes to the integration of art and cultural practices in the new development of Ginninderry.

“We are delighted to work with our partners to provide creative spaces, skilled tutors and a range of facilities to support the interests of indigenous men in our community,” Ms King said.

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Photo supplied courtesy of Strathnairn Arts Association

If you are interested in taking part, or have a friend or family member who would like to get involved, please contact info@strathnairn.com.au.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Men’s Group meets for 3 hours weekly during term time at Strathnairn Arts Centre and the program is delivered in conjunction with West Belconnen Child and Family Centre and Thunderstone: Aboriginal Cultural and Land Management Services.

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Photo supplied courtesy of Strathnairn Arts Association