One Sky, Many Stories

One Sky, Many Stories
What do stars mean to you?
A Griffyn Ensemble collaboration

Belconnen Arts Centre

Main Gallery until 16 December 2018

 work in progress, 2018, gouache on gallery wall

work in progress, 2018, gouache on gallery wall

It’s been wonderful to participate in a creative development project at Belconnen Arts Centre and to have the time to experiment with new ideas and processes - I’ve been working away at a large-scale composition of abstract organic shapes drawn directly onto the curved gallery wall with gouache. Many thoughts have crossed my mind while letting the drawing evolve one layer/intersection at a time: the swirling dynamism of galaxies, distance and the fading light as we look further into the past, the blue of twilight and new stars, the relationships between points that become constellations… The shapes I have used are inverted, distorted details drawn from my recent monotype prints of relatively small-scale earthly origins - eroded gullies and rock formations. My work and thoughts have also been a response the music of the Griffyn Ensemble who instigated this project.

What do the stars mean to you? The Griffyn Ensemble, directed by Michael Sollis, have been asking this question since they first performed Southern Sky in 2012, and recently travelled to Tennant Creek to discover and create some more stories and songs about the stars. Members of the Griffyn Ensemble joined Arrernte man Warren H. Williams, Tennant Creek musicians and astronomer Fred Watson in August this year in Canberra for development and performance of this work.

One Sky, Many Stories explores western and Indigenous conceptions of the night sky, as well as personal reflections from a diversity of cultures and backgrounds. Interviews from Central Australians relating to the night sky were projected alongside music performed by The Griffyn Ensemble from their iconic Southern Sky, as a springboard to begin creative dialogue and development of new work in the Main Gallery at Belconnen Arts Centre.

The gallery has been transformed into a site for creative exploration with artists working in the space investigating their ideas and responses to the night sky. This is the ‘embryonic’ phase of creative development, intended to open the possibility that ideas and works beginning here will be developed in more depth over the coming year and be featured in the celebrations and launch of the completed Belconnen Arts Centre in early 2020.

Anyone from the broader community is invited to record stories and reflections on the question ‘what do the stars mean to you?’ through written text, video recordings or by adding a woven star wish to our gallery wall; visit us to experience this Inspiring Australia initiative, which is supported by the Australian Government as part of National Science Week.