During the forum, one of the panellists, a female indigenous artist from Hervey Bay raised a question; Where are Australia's indigenous artists represented publicly? The question was met with an embarrassing silence. A silence that to me was motivation to work towards a collaboration with an indigenous artist. Motivation to learn from and gain appreciation and understanding of our country's traditional custodians' artistic culture.
Amazingly, it would only be a matter of months before the opportunity to be involved in Animating Spaces would present itself and lead to a public art project that would allow just this. I'd known Kim Warcon for many years on a social level, mostly for his work as a healer and Bowen Therapist. He is a well respected person in the community and in recent years has been emerging as an artist of many talents. Kim was introduced to his art through his story as an indigenous man and began painting for his own healing in art circles over 15 years ago. Since then he has produced and sold many artworks throughout Australia and held various exhibitions.
Kim took no encouragement in accepting my idea of involving him in 'Through The Porthole', and from our first meeting to discuss ideas it has been an absolute pleasure to work together on the artworks, facilitating the workshops with local high schools and finally create the displays for the Animating Spaces event. Kim has made some amazing artworks and I cannot wait for the public to be able to enjoy them as part of the art trail.
For me I have a gained knowledge of his styles, symbolism and techniques, and cultural influences in his art. I have also had the pleasure of introducing Kim to a completely new medium, teaching him techniques for working with clay. I'm hoping that 'Through The Porthole' is the first of many projects that Kim and I can collaborate on, and I feel honoured to have had Kim involved.
Read the news article on Kim Warcon here
Find Kim Warcon's 'Oonga-Lara Arts' page here