Sunday, 13 August 2006
The forum on intergenerational exchange attracted a strong crowd on a beautiful Bendigo Saturday afternoon. Stephen Gallagher started with an account of his involvement with the Embroiderer's Guild. One of the fruits of this exchange, his exhibition Presence of Things, had just opened at Castlemaine Gallery. Brigitte Robertson, Youth Arts Officer with the City of Bendigo, followed with tales of the Hand me Down project, which tied young people to elders including indigenous figures. The result was a surreal floral landscape destined for the Conservatory in Rosalind Park, Bendigo (opening 10 September), helped by Marianne Midelburg. Then Melissa Urquart spoke of her journey from Alice Springs to Bendigo, working with youth at risk in a badge project. Finally, Kerri-Anne Abbott evoked the struggle of pioneering women to salvage some enjoyment from their hard day, and her own quest to transform this ephemeral craft into the solid form of porcelain. During the lively discussion that followed, speakers reflected on the way doing things with your hands provides an easy way of bringing people together. Left out of this discussion, however, were patriarchal lines of exchange between blokes and boys. Something for a future forum, along with the inter-cultural exchange projects developing in regional Victoria among migrant groups, particularly from Africa. There's certainly much to talk about beyond the capital.
From Kevin Murray