White Bluff Project creative inspirations for the summer season

Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung artist Tori Donnelly at White Bluff.

 

BORED is not an option this summer holidays with creative inspiration beaming out from Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery through its White Bluff Project exhibition.

It’s a show so diverse that it’s attracting visitors of all ages keen to discover the art, science and the changing environment of this unique place on our coast.

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With engagement built into the accompanying program, the Gallery team are releasing activities to inspire young creative minds.

To hear directly from the artists there are video stories filmed at White Bluff, a new one released each Tuesday online over the next month on the gallery’s Facebook or Instagram.

Just out is a story by Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung artist Tori Donnelly who shares how art helps us to connect with place, and how place inspires her work.

“In this area here, there are lots of beginnings or endings of dreaming stories,” says Tori, who found the science of the land and seascape resonated with Gumbaynggirr stories she’d been told.

She explains finding connections in her art practice and with the land work well together.

“You’re taking something that you’re inspired by, you’re internalising it and then creating something out of it.”

In a modern interpretation of White Bluff’s history, Tori worked with artist Sarah Mufford and poet Chris Armstrong to create a poetry diptych for the exhibition.

Her Manggaarla artwork is a map of site stories with words drawn from Gumbaynggirr legends and language, early settler accounts and phrasing from scientists.

It features stencilling once used to label the area’s iconic banana boxes.

“It would be great if people seeing the exhibition can take in the process of what we’ve tried to interpret and turn into art, and go out there to connect to Country themselves,” Tori said.

Opening on Saturday December 18 are Exploration Stations where children have the chance to become artists and scientists. Budding scientists can record their discoveries in a journal of activities, while young artists can create drawings on postcards and enter the Summer Vibes exhibition.

Exploration Stations are also open at the Museum and Libraries in Coffs Harbour, Toormina and Woolgoolga.

The summer vibe continues at a family cultural event at South Park Beach Reserve from 9.30am on Saturday 22 January, celebrating a new Jellyfish public sculpture and slide.

After a Welcome to Gumbaynggirr Country, children are invited to play on the Jellyfish, join in on Storytime and get creative with art workshops by TAFE and the Regional Gallery.

 

By Andrea FERRARI

 

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