Meeting an Anthropologist

Pearlz Dreaming

annagope One of my Aunties – in her face I see my mother so clearly! 

Rotorua, in Aoteroa/ New Zealand, has one of those aromas that you can never forget and which is hard to escape. For me the strong smell of the sulphur is overtaken by an experience that has represented a watershed in the process of doing my thesis. Something I could never have foreseen.

The program in front of me has the words- “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder,” and the speaker is described as an American born Anthropologist whose major study has been in the Mekeo of Papua New Guinea. The theme of the conference is “Arts and Spirituality” and I am presenting some creative writing and story telling workshops on the theme of personal and cultural identity.

I want to meet the speaker before he find out whether he knows much about the village…

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Magic Fish Dreaming at APT 9

This is me reading at APT9 Summer Festival on the GOMA Lawn
A special moment in front of sign with my name on it! Also meeting the Kiribati community. I travelled to Kiribati when I was twenty so it was lovely to see them storytelling at the festival as well.
Checking out the Bollywood dancing. Fantastic fun. All families especially into it.
Meeting two Papua New Guinea ladies, Veronica from the Bouganville Brisbane community and a Papua New Guinea lady resident in Brisbane learning PNG weaving. This reminded me of my days in Tully with my Vanuatu and Aboriginal friend, crafting and chatting. Although today I just watched.
Debut of the Brolga poem. It went so well this day. Here we are being brolgas.
The two hand puppets. Must do a post on them all on their own. Thanks so much to David Perkins for making these. So happy with how they came out.
Very special to have my poetry auslan translated for two of the performances by Maree from Deaf Services, Queensland.

I read some Magic Fish Dreaming poems as well as a poem inspired by Sydney Long’s painting Spirit of the Plains daily over the three days of the festival.

It was so much fun to share these poems and the story behind their inspirations.

I loved performing my new ‘Brolga’ poem and ‘Cassowary Chat’ with the help of the children and two home made puppets.

Some other poems performed were ‘Giggle Poems’, ‘Curtain Fig Tree’, ‘River Song’,’Brahminy Kite’, ‘Discovering Magic’, and ‘Magic Fish Dreaming.’ I varied it a little each day, but performed the participatory puppet poems every day!

The setting by the river under the shade of a tree was just perfect, and cool and comfortable for families.

Thank you so much to all those families who stopped to listen and participate in the storytelling.

A big thanks to Laura, Roshni, David and my family for their supports on the day and Hannah for support in the lead up. As well as to Maree from Deaf Services Queensland, for her Auslan of the poems.

Working hard towards some new poems, and especially keen to include the Brolga poem in a new collection for children.

Whilst the festival is over, the exhibition continues and you can find out more here. APT9 DETAILS

Responding to Art with the Written Word

Ray Crooke, Fragment Woman with Blossoms, QAGOMA, Australian Collection

I have made significant progress on a poetry project, writing poems for The Words and Pictures  project at QAGOMA.

Which is just as well as there are just four days left for my final selections and edits.

Some of the works  have  inspired more than one poem.  One even inspired four pieces.

I now have to select which ones will be the most interesting or evocative for the people visiting the gallery.  I might share some of the others that don’t go in, here on my blog.

It is not easy as I am quite happy with each version, but then I have a vision of how all the works fit together and want them to be spaced throughout the gallery which will help guide me to the right ones for the series.

Also one of my goals is to  give the poems and micro stories a broad appeal, such that people of many ages might enjoy reading them, including people familiar with my work on Magic Fish Dreaming.

So now my role is to curate the right balance of my own work, to show that I love writing for children, families, youth and adults.

I look forward to seeing how the public respond to the writing once it is up on the Gallery Walls.

I have a few butterflies of course, but it is quite exciting to share poems alongside art works, and have them interact with each other.

If you visit, feel free to leave a comment on my blog and QAGOMA instagram (will let you know some hashtags) as I would love to know what you think.

I’ll let you know the dates it is up soon.

All art works featured courtesy Queensland Art Gallery, Australian Art Collection

Rosalie Gascoigne,  Lamplit,

 

From Fred Williams's, Fragment from Echucha Landscape
From Fred Williams’s, Fragment from Echucha Landscape

 

 

 

Five Powers to Dealing with Racism

familypicbest5
My family in the early days in Tasmania

It was amazing today to feel like an advocate for unity in diversity, and the power of poetry, love, and education.

I mentioned Maya Angelou, Nelson Mandela, my parents and the spiritual and cultural upbringing that has made me who I am today. Love will always lead us away from hate as a solution, and words on paper can have great power to release pain and lead to understanding!

Hope you can listen in to this story of my family, paying tribute to the courage of my parents and thinking about ways we can deal with racism.

MY FAMILY RADIO INTERVIEW HERE

 

My Family

For me there are five powers to dealing with racism: Power of poetry! Power of spirituality (faith) ! Power of love! Power of Education and Excellence!

Can’t quite believe where the journey of this kickstarter has taken me.  Thinking of my heroes like Maya Angelou and Nelson Mandela and also of the dear ones we have lost, like one of my brothers, and so many who have fallen partly due to the ravages of racism gives me so much passion to write and create art.

If you’d love to support Magic Fish Dreaming, and be on our blog honour roll, head over to THE KICKSTARTER

We have just 5 days to go, before the magic of producing the rest of the book begins!

 

culturenightbubu
Mum passing on culture