Beyond Empathy. Illuminate: Euraba Artists and Papermakers
Illuminate - Euraba Artists and Papermakers [Beyond Empathy]

Beyond Empathy: Euraba Artists and Papermakers
Corroboree Festival Art Gallery of NSW 16 November 2013 to 27 January 2014

ILLUMINATE is a community driven multi media exhibition by Euraba Artists and Papermakers, and Beyond Empathy. It was launched on Goomeroi land in Boggabilla on 2 November and then will feature as part of the Corroboree Festival at the Art Gallery NSW, 16 November 2013 – 27 January 2014. 

"We want some good to come out of it, we want our younger generation to come in and be a part of what we are doing, learn their culture and learn who they are so they can go out and be proud and strong people." (Aunty May Hinch, founding artist, Euraba Artists and Papermakers)

Illuminate is a community driven initiative, capturing the aspirations of the Goomeroi people in the communities of Toomelah and Boggabilla, in northwest NSW. Through the distinctive artistic practice, Illuminate allows the community to explore generational relationships, stories and ideas between the Goomeroi people and their community. This unique project has evolved through the significance of home to the people and highlights the region’s important living history. It celebrates contemporary experiences through an immersive installation created with paper, light and sound.

In Illuminate a replica ‘mission home’ is clad with hand-made paper, made by the Euraba Artists and Papermakers, supported by internationally acclaimed Goomeroi artist Jonathon Jones. Brought to life with sound pieces and film projections onto each of the walls, an intimate insight into the community evolves. Directed by Goomeroi filmmaker, Matthew Priestly, through his relationship with the community over the past 15 years the works move the audience through time and memory in simple synchronicity.

Jones, a Kamilaroi / Wiradjuri man, has been winning prizes and making waves throughout Australia for his dazzling installations of fluorescent tubes and incandescent bulbs. Using everyday materials such as electric cabling, household light bulbs and tarpaulin, Jones reveals textural surfaces and dynamic plays of light and shadow that are compellingly beautiful and highly nuanced. Combining his sensibilities as a contemporary artist with his deep connection to country, Hetti Perkins, former Aboriginal Curator at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and curator of the Corroborree Festival, writes that "although the resonance of light suggests the living human presence ... so too [Jones'] works serve as a memento mori to those whose past lives continue to light our way"

Importantly, Illuminate has made way for contemporary artists and artistic practices to be combined with traditional cultural practice, engaging Goomeroi young people, local emerging artists and the broader community. It celebrates the centrality of Elders, Goomeroi culture and their arts practice.

Illuminate will first be shown on Goomeroi land, on the banks of their river, which is significant to Goomeroi people and fundamental to the arts practice of Euraba. It opens in Sydney as part of Corroboree Sydney at the Art Gallery of NSW on November 16th at 11am.

Illuminate is a partnership project between Community Arts and Cultural Development organisation Beyond Empathy and Euraba Artists and Papermakers, Boggabilla.

Artists: Aunty May Hinch, Leonie Binge, Paul Mackie, Donald Cubby and Lola Binge, Jonathan Jones, Matty Priestley, Kate Ford and Wendy Kimpton.

Further information is available from the Beyond Empathy website or the Art Gallery of NSW Exhibitions page.

Article: Aunty May Hinch illuminates the past of an indigenous community. Andrew Taylor, Sydney Morning Herald, 26 November 2013