The Gondwana Southern Edge Arts Artists-in-Residence (Gondwana SEA AIR) Project

An initiative aimed to engage students across the Southwest in an innovative multi-arts, educative program, building an appreciation and an understanding of their local natural environment, whilst offering them a vocational experience of theatre arts and performance making.

The thematic heart of the project was the tract of land in Southwest Australia known as the Gondwana Link. The Gondwana Link reaches from the Great Western Woodlands (Esperance) to the coastal Karri Forests of the South West and is the focus of a grand environmental restoration and protection project being undertaken by an alliance that includes the likes of Greening Australia, The Wilderness Society, Bush Heritage Australia and Green Skills.

The Schools

The schools have been selected based on their developing relationship with the Gondwana Youth Arts Project, piloted over the last two years.

Residency 1

North Albany Senior High School

  • 12 – 16 September

Residency 2

Denmark High School

  • 19 – 23 September

Residency 3

Denmark Primary School

  • 26 – 30 September

Residency 4

Cranbrook Primary School

  • 17 – 21 October

Residency 5

Mount Lockyer Primary School

  • 24 – 28 October

Residency 6

Mount Barker Community College

  • 31 October – 4 November

Indigenous Youth Camp

Camp Nowanup

  • 22 – 24 June

Performance Development Camp

Camp Nowanup

  • 7 – 11 November

The Artists

Four professional artists  worked with six schools in the Southwest, completing a one week intensive program with 20 selected students from each school.

The artists have been selected based on their track records with community arts activities and have, themselves worked with very innovative and educational approaches, utilising current, cutting edge media. Drawing on the expertise of each, artists and teachers encouraged students to further explore issues that arise and tease out a variety of scenarios within the context of the overall theme. Whilst the artists worked in specific arts media, this project saw them collaborating and forming a junction between their respective art forms.

The target age group for the project is 10 – 14 years old (upper primary and lower secondary). Students, teachers and artists wen out on field trips to the bush for initial inspiration, under the guidance and mentorship of environmentalists and people of local Indigenous backgrounds.

As part of building identity and empowering young Indigenous Youth to take on a leadership role in the Term 3 and 4 Residencies,  an Indigenous Performing Arts Camp was held at Nowanup, north east of Albany. This camp provided a strong component of Noongar Culture and how Noongar people connect to country & the Gondwana Link. Through Elders and young Indigenous Arts Practitioners, young participants were shown the importance of connecting to country to make a stand to help look after, preserve and protect, the land & environment which their ancestors are so much a part of.

Each residency was showcased to the respective school communities at the end of each week. The project culminated with an “Umbrella Event” held at Nowanup Camp.

Artists Profile

Peter Keelan Digital sound recording, music production and film making With a focus on capturing soundscapes from the natural environment.

www.peterkeelan.com.au

Cecile Williams Environmental art, site specific installation, ephemeral animation and puppetry . Cecile will be using organic and found materials to build on a sensory experience of the natural environment

www.cecilewilliams.com.au

Sete Tele dancer/choreographer/story-teller/ photographer. Sete will be drawing on personal stories of identity and sense of being – establishing connections between people and place. This will inform the development of a dance/movement piece.

Leon Ewing Digital media, animation, puppetry, music, film making Leon will be mentoring a couple of young participants at each school to digitally document the development of each residency.

www.leonewing.com