The Aboriginal art fence surrounding the Royal Far West Centre for Country Kids at Manly is drawn from two works, Healing Connections – Coast to Country and Wirnpa – Back to Country.
Healing Connections is a collaborative work from Jessica Birk and Frances Belle Parker. Jessica is a proud descendent of the Yaegl people from the Clarence Valley in Northern Rivers NSW. She was born on Sydney’s Northern Beaches where she still lives and works. Frances is a Yaegl woman, painter and installation artist from Maclean NSW.
Wirnpa – Back to Country is a painting by Andrea Pindan, who lives around 100km from Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Collaborating with Yaegl artists Jessica Birk and Frances Belle Parker
Jessica and Frances had face-to-face meetings with Vashti Gonda from Chiaro Screens and provided her with Illustrator files. The artists entrusted Vashti with redrawing and interpreting their work to suit the laser cutting process and the panel format. They developed an excellent rapport and communicated regularly via email and Dropbox in the redrawing phase.
Collaborating with Kimberley artist, Andrea Pindan
Communicating with Andrea was more difficult. Andrea lives in a remote location with no mobile phone or Internet connection and she speaks her community language. Vashti worked from an emailed scan of Andrea’s painting, translating the work into positive and negative spaces suitable for laser cutting. She emailed progress drawings to the Mangkaja Art Agency in Fitzroy Crossing for Andrea to consider and approve. Andrea travelled to Mangkaja where the manager, Belinda Cook, acted as interpreter. Through this process Vashti learnt what the various shapes represented and she was able to create a final laser cut work of which Andrea warmly approved.
Di Emme worked with FDC Constructions on the structural design and installation of the 37m art fence.