Together We StandPosted 12 Jul 2020 by Katie Edmiston
TOGETHER WE STAND was a collaborative cross regional art project developed by 10 First Nations creatives to keep connected and creating during COVID.
Artists participating in the project include: Delvene Cockatoo-Collins, Jason Murphy, Anita Morena, Wendy Rix, Melissa Stannard, Julianne Laidlow, Cholena Drew Hughes, Peter Joachim Hughes, Jandamarra Cadd and Kev Starkey.
This project is an initiative of SEQN First Nations Artist Collective supported by Creative Arts Alliance as part of our delivery of Regional Arts Services Network – RASN and with funding from Access Arts and Moreton Bay Regional Council
SEQN First Nations Artists Collective are First Nations artists from and/or living on Kabi Kabi, Wakka Wakka, Butchulla, Jinibara, Quandamooka, Turrbal and Jagera Country
The project included a number of stages:
- Printmaker Cholena Drew Hughes created a large cyanotype ‘background’ which is divided into pieces and posted to 9 other artists across the SEQN region (Gympie, Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, Somerset, Redlands). Cyanotype, is a printmaking technique were a chemical solution is applied to fine art paper and then objects are placed on the paper and exposed to UV light creating a shadowy image also known as a photogram. Cholena draws inspiration from her environment, using native plants from her property in the development of her Cyantope prints.
- Nine First Nations artists were posted a small (A3 or A2 size) section of the Cyanotype print. They then added their own artwork on top of their their section of the cyanotype background. Throughout the development process, artists shared their progress, inspiration and techniques with each other through a private Facebook group. You can check out the progress images and final artworks created by each artists HERE
- Uncle Kev Starkey also created an original music piece in response to the artworks created and through conversations with the artists involved which can be viewed on YOUTUBE
- The individual pieces were returned to Cholena to become part of one large collaborative work
The project artists, led by Blaklash took part in an online Artist Talk to share their experience of participating in the project and provide insight into the artworks they created.
Quotes from Participating Artists
Together We Stand…
“created deeper roots of community and cultural connection in very uncertain times. It gave a huge lift to our spirits after loss of other work /contracts.”
“gave me the opportunity to develop stronger relationships and network with other First Nations Artists”
The best part of the project was:
“Collaborating with other First Nation creatives at a time which had been very challenging for so many to do and or maintain this throughout the shutdown of so many opportunities.. And creating as individuals that came together as a powerful collective narrative.”
“The push (it gave me) to create in medium I’ve neglected a little and connecting to an online supportive community. Learning and practising new skills and feeling welcomed and supported through the entire process. Seeing how great collaborative art can be, if handled with care and professionalism blended with understanding of First Nations ways of being and doing.”
“Connection to other artists and sharing our love for our culture and learning more about one another and what we do as individuals”
“Thank you to CAA for bring the Artists together, and to all the supporting funding bodies. Your collective support has helped us Artists to create further in to the future.”
“Thank you for seeing the value in such projects for the well-being of us First Nation artists emotionally mentally physically and spiritually..”
“Your support and belief in our voices is empowering and uplifting so Thank You – Maarubaa nginda”