Canberra mural to kick start Indigenous community art project

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 — Researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) are partnering with Canberra’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to develop a series of community art projects across the region.

On Wednesday 6 June the first public artwork from the Two Way Project will be revealed - two large murals painted by Ngunnawal and Ngambri artists on a wall at the Watson shops.

Project leader Dr Kirrily Jordan said the project aims to bring to light issues of concern to local Indigenous people and build public awareness around relevant policy issues.

“There is a lot of power in public art, you don’t have to go to a gallery, its right there in the street,” Dr Jordan said.

“We are facilitating traditional owners in Canberra and Queanbeyan to tell their stories in new ways, in a visual format that will be open to the public.

“The project is looking at creative ways to have an impact in the community and to bring forward the voices of First Nations people.”

Ngambri elder Dr Matilda House highlighted the project’s benefits to local youth.

“The mural is about the future and teaching our culture to the kids,” she said.

Dr Jordan is planning a series of workshops through 2018 to bring together different representatives from Indigenous communities in Canberra to identify a set of priorities to be addressed by the program.

“Once we’ve identified those priorities we can put in applications for funding to get those projects off the ground,” she said.

“If things go well, we hope to expand the project across the ACT and eventually look to supporting other First Nations communities through arts around Australia.”

The Two Way Project brings together ANU researchers from across Indigenous policy research, visual arts, music and science communication. The mural is supported by ACT Transport Canberra and City Services, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences and the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research. The program seeks to work on community art projects across a range of mediums.

Artists and cultural advisors include Dr Matilda House, Carl Brown, Tina Brown, Daniel Williams and Adrian Brown.

Media are invited to attend.

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WHAT: The Two Way Indigenous community art project

WHERE: Watson Shops, Knox St, Watson, ACT

WHEN: 10:30am – 11:30am Wednesday 6 June 2018

FOR INTERVIEW:

Dr Kirrily Jordan
ANU Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research
M: 0408 689 815
E: kirrily.jordan@anu.edu.au

Tina Brown
Indigenous Elder
M: 0417 531 560

For media assistance, contact Aaron Walker of the ANU media hotline on 02 6125 7979 or 0418 307 213.