Belconnen Community Service is marking Reconciliation Week this year with an unusual mixed media exhibition by Warlpiri artist Wanta Jampijinpa, Canberra artist, Lee Anne Proberts and students from the ANU School of Music
Wanta Jampijinpa is a Warlpiri elder from Lajamanu in the Tanami Desert, Northern Territory. An artist, educator, philosopher and academic, he will share his people’s stories in an exhibition to celebrate Reconciliation Week in gallery@bcs.
“We say the best way to listen to the earth speak is to really look at how the body language is used by the elements. …once upon a time all of us were connected but, yes, some of us have stayed connected and others have decided to walk away from that understanding.”
Lee Anne Proberts is a Canberra photographer and visual artist who is Jampijinpa’s research assistant for an Australian Research Council project at the ANU.
Jampijinpa describes his work in Canberra as, “teaching Australia…teaching this country and its people about their birth right…We’re here to live together. We’ve all got one home… To me, skin name, law, language, land and ceremonies they’re all important. ”
The exhibition includes paintings by Wanta Jampijinpa, Lee Anne Proberts and students from the ANU School of Music alongside photos by Proberts. While the exhibition is in progress, the artists will construct a sand painting in the gallery that will include some sands from the Tanami desert, the country of the Warlpiri people.
As part of their studies in Indigenous Music and Media, the students are immersed in Warlpiri culture, under Jampijinpa’s guidance. As they learn more about the law, the elements and the stories of the Warlpiri people, they earn the right to assist with paintings and other expressions of culture.
gallery@bcs presents “Wintaru – Hear the Elements Talk–Earth Wind Fire Water–Walya Walpa Warlu Ngapa.” At Belconnen Community Centre, Swanson Court Belconnen, Until June 7, Monday-Friday, am – 4:30pm.
Sand painting demonstration and storytelling, 10am-4pm, Wednesday May 29
Exhibition opening celebration, Wednesday May 29, 6pm, all are welcome.
This article was originally published in CityNews.