is the name of an exhibition used to mark a gathering – between Lita Fontaine
from Winnipeg, Jeff Chief from Saskatchewan, Paul Smith from Edmonton and
myself, Jenny Fraser from Brisbane. We were all drawn together to spend time at
Banff in Blackfoot country.
In negotiating the title I shared the above quote from Djon Mundine a Bundjalung
man from New South Wales… our unofficial Ambassador for Aboriginal Art in
Australia ; ) I had seen him write it in the front of a book that he gifted. It
stays with me.
The feather relates to all of us that belong to the Land and Animals. Feathers
speak to us specifically and cross-culturally. Since then Djon has written more
on the feather for an artists memorial…
Honouring the feather for its cleansing and healing powers,
Fontaine produced her new digital
work in-residence at Banff titled Protection, Broken-Hearted and
the Colours of our Rainbow. The works bravely deal with
issues of the heart and ceremony.
Using the tools of his trade in costume design and fashion, and also the beading
techniques of his culture, Jeff Chiefs textile layers bring us an
insightful view from his bedroom window at Banff. Sleeping Buffalo Mountain is
sacred to the Blackfoot. Paul Smith uses
feathers as a visual icon to fill sound bubbles in his work. Feathers are one of
many of the icons he used to create narrative flow in his set of 35 drawings.
Using only ink on paper he has offered a stylized take on symbolism that
references cartooning and also designs for inscription.
My own work is part of a wider series titled 'hit the road' which was all based
on roadkill of native animals on lands in the Bundjalung Nation. The series is
also representative of how native people are treated by wider society in
Australia - widely ignored and denied after impact, just like road kill.
Artist / Curator
Feathers Float was exhibited at the Other Gallery, Banff Art Centre, Alberta
Canada in July 2005 and lives-on at cyberTribe.
Wungguli – Shadow : Photographing the spirit and Michael Riley
Soon to be published in the Catalogue for the Artists Retrospective at the
National Gallery of Australia