A new art exhibition showcasing the work of Monaro schools will open at the Bundian Way Aboriginal Art Gallery in Delegate this Saturday September 24.
Presented by the Cooma Monaro Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) and supported by the Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council, Delegate Progress Association, Snowy Monaro Regional Council and South East Arts, the exhibition is “a celebration of aboriginal educational outcomes” resulting from school excursions along the Bundian Way.
AECG mentor and artist Pauline Coxon – an Aboriginal woman originating from the Biripi nation, who now resides in Berridale in the Snowy Mountains - worked with children from across the Monaro on this unique initiative.
“I work with Uncle JD as an Aboriginal education assistant at Monaro High School in Cooma,” Ms Coxon said on Monday.
“Our work covers all the high schools and primary schools of the Monaro area, and over the year we’ve had excursions to Delegate and along the Bundian Way, with a big focus on the yam fields at Craigee just outside Delegate.
“The children have been working on a body of art inspired by the Bundian Way.”
The children’s collection will now appear at the Bundian Way Art Gallery, with at least 25 pieces of art and small sculptural works as well, including a couple of works by Pauline Coxon.
Ms Coxon said this year’s NAIDOC theme of songlines was a big source of inspiration, tying in the cultural and spiritual importance of the Bundian Way.
“This exhibition is pretty much the end product of the whole year of researching songlines,” Ms Coxon said.
Koori and non Koori kids came together in the research and art-making, with Ms Coxon’s central message being “shared history, shared learning”.
“It’s the first time the schools of the Monaro have ever done a project like this, or ever done an exhibition in Delegate about the Bundian Way,” Ms Coxon said.
“So it’s the first time showing the Monaro perspective of the Bundian Way.”
Eden resident, historian and author John Blay is curator, and Federal Member for Eden-Monaro Dr Mike Kelly will officially open the exhibition at 11am this Saturday, September 24.
The exhibition will run until mid December this year.
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