25 My to 24th July 2017

For the Love of Culture and Country, Over the Years and Traditional Grinding Stones will open at the Armidale and Region Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place Inc on Thursday, 25th May 2017 at 6pm. 

For the Love of Culture and Country are works by Adele Chapman-Burgess from Glen Innes and Jodie Herden from Tamworth. Jodie’s mother was an English/Irish red-haired, blue-eyed, fair woman and her father was a dark-skinned Chinese/Aboriginal Gomeroi man. Adele, on the other hand, is of Ngarrabul/Kooma heritage. Both Jodie and Adele were born in the New England region.

Adele had always had an interest in art and has been painting on and off all her life.  Her paintings are about her many journeys and the many hats she wears, her spirit strength, learning more and seeking more knowledge about her family connections to the places she visits.

“Connection to country is inherent, we are born to it, it is how we identify ourselves, and it is our family, our laws (lore’s), and our legacy”, said Adele.

Jodie also said that through connection with country that she works with the natural elements such as wood, grass, seeds, rocks, wind and water from Gomeroi country. Her art highlight the importance of taking care of country and the strong spiritual connection she as an Aboriginal woman has to country and sharing that importance with her non Aboriginal friends.

“My links to my family and the land is a strong part of my connection with my Aboriginality”, said Jodie.

The photographic exhibition entitled, Over the years is of Armidale Aboriginal rugby league club called Narwan Eels. The Narwan Eels rugby league club was formed by local Aboriginal elders because they felt that sport was a big driver in bridging many of the gaps within Aboriginal communities. The players first took to the field in the 1970s. The Club celebrated their 40th anniversary last year.  Narwan Eels has always strived to promote and support Aboriginal youth and the importance of living a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. Narwan Eels have won the knockout competition in 1980, 1986, 2001, 2002 and 2008 and produced some excellent players such as Fred Waters, Dean Widders, Clarrie Moran and Michael Moran. Over the Years is the celebration of Narwan Eels Rugby League Club’s longevity.

The artefact exhibition entitled, Traditional Grinding Stones are of grinding and top stones from the ACCKP collection and the Tingha Green Valley collection. Those that will be on exhibition were used by Australian Aboriginal women in the semi-arid region of New South Wales to grind seeds and nuts. The seeds from grasses, trees, shrubs, succulents and ferns were ground to release starch for cooking purposes. The flour produced was mixed with water and eaten as a paste, or cooked in the coals of a camp fire and eaten as cakes or loaves. The nuts have been found throughout Australia, particularly in arid and semi-arid areas where Aboriginal people were reliant on grass seed for starch as their staple food. In some areas of Australia grinding utensils were made from heavy hardwoods. Pre-contact grinding and top stones such as the ones included in this exhibition are similar to the pestle and mortar still used today for grinding herbs and spices.

The public is invited to attend the opening. Light refreshment and entertainment will be on offer at the opening at 6pm, Thursday the 25th January 2017.


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