An Art Starter - Aurukun 2009
The first Ghost Net Art Project workshop resulted in pieces that created a buzz at that year’s Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and launched the project on the road to success.
GhostNets Australia’s partner in science, CSIRO, agreed to fund the two week workshop which was to be facilitated by Sue Ryan and Gina Allain. Sue and Gina drove from Cairns to Aurukun on Sunday 14th June 2009, with a collection of marine debris, ghost net and other materials required for the workshop. Community weavers decided that they would like the workshop to be held at ‘Wutan’, a nearby outstation which is accessible by a twenty minute boat trip. Well-known Aurukun elder, artist and weaver Mavis Ngallametta acted as community consultant during the workshop. Riki Gunn had arranged for Aurukun-based Wik Media to film proceedings with a view to creating a five minute documentary of the workshop.
After setting up camp at ‘Wutan’ on the second day, participants went on another boat trip to ‘Ikolet’ (Red Cliff), a beach known to be a magnet for ghost nets and other marine debris, to gather more materials for the workshop. They found plenty.
By the end of the first week it was decided that the remaining week would be based at the art centre in town. Organising the daily boat trips to ‘Wutan’; fuel for the boat, food and water for the day and the lengthy chore of rounding everyone up each morning, was all too hard. Not to mention the crows and the three legged dingo that created mayhem in the camp each day after they left, getting into the materials; using threads and toilet paper like most people use Christmas decorations.
By the end of the workshop Sue and Gina were happy with the pieces they had for the forthcoming Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, and optimistic that they would be well received.
Photo below: Before starting the workshop, participants went to 'Ikolet' to collect more materials. Photo by Gina Allain.
Photo below: Wilma at Wutan with Sue Ryan, was a dedicated weaver and enthusiastic participant. Photo by Gina Allain.