I recently encouraged online art buying directly from community art centres in order to keep the Aboriginal art world from falling in a hole. Here’s a splendidly positive example of art centre proactivity in this pandemic world:
In the remote north-west it’s business as usual!
Waringarri Aboriginal Arts has shifted operations to three outstation communities as a precautionary measure in keeping artists and their families safe and engaged.
Bush studios, food and supplies have been delivered to each outstation and camping areas have been set up.Â Artists and their family members will spend the coming weeks on Country creating new artworks, finishing commissions and staying positive during the global pandemic.Â
We have a strong plan in place to keep artists and families safe while we continue working on our projects. says Chairperson, Dora Griffiths, Instead of working at the art centre, we’ll be working out bush making new artworks.
While artists are creating art, collecting bush foods and recording digital stories for sharing on social media platforms, the art centre staff (abiding by strict hygiene and social distancing rules) will manage delivery of supplies and messages out into the world. There’s plenty of work to be done and staff will be keeping their jobs.
As an Indigenous owned enterprise heavily reliant on tourism, Waringarri Arts has a deliberate plan to remain sustainable while ensuring the well-being of artists and their families. Continuing arts and cultural practice is essential to our business, as is being flexible in our delivery. Â While addressing COVID-19 is an unexpected challenge, the art centre has been deliberately developing strategies focused on strengthening community well-being, cultural practice and story-telling for some time so in some way it is business as usual, said Cathy Cummins, Manager. As a creative organisation, I am sure we will find a way through the challenges. We will also use the lock down time for online training, planning, research and development.
Art projects will lead to artists producing exciting bodies of work leading to creative exhibition outcomes as well as wonderful artworks for the website. We can use this challenge as an opportunity for teaching culture to our young artists on Country, said Ben Ward, senior artist and cultural leader, All artists and staff are still smiling and the art centre will keep everyone updated with good news stories from out bush!Â
To all our friends and everyone unable to visit the Kimberley region during this time visit us online at www.waringarriarts.com.au/shop for the creative outcomes of our On Country program.
Stay safe and follow our good news stories on Facebook and Instagram.
Artist: Dora Griffiths, Ben Ward,
Gallery: Waringarri Aboriginal Arts ,