White Bluff Project Delayed by Floodwaters

Aerial shot of White Bluff at Sapphire Beach the inspiration for The White Bluff Project


THE White Bluff Project, an exhibition that was due to open this week has been delayed due to flood water in the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery.

The exhibition features creative works inspired by White Bluff that intersect art, science and history.

The project has been a three year collaboration and was born out of a discussion between artists Ray Rixon and Sarah Mufford.

Mr Rixon has taken inspiration from White Bluff for over 40 years.

White Bluff is located just north of Coffs Harbour at Sapphire and is protected by the Solitary Islands Marine Reserve and its bushland cared for by Sapphire Reserve Landcare with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Both artists led the project to creatively respond to the unique site.

The White Bluff Project has brought together local visual artists, filmmakers, an historian, a poet, a musician, ecologists, a marine scientist, traditional knowledge holders and community stakeholders.

Over the past three years the group has collaborated on research, field trips and workshops, to weave their varied disciplines and experiences into final artworks. In the same way that White Bluff is a weaving of varied ecosystems and histories.

Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung artist Tori Donnelly recalls a boat trip early in the project to Split Solitary Island and the waters off White Bluff.

“You’d have one person sharing the geological history of White bluff and another person jumping in with information about why there is such an abundance of marine life where the two oceans meet,” she said.

“Incredibly so much of the science resonated with Gumbaynggirr stories I’ve been told,” said Ms Donnelly who hopes people seeing the exhibition will be inspired to find their own ways to connect meaningfully to country.

“It would be great if they take in the process of what we’ve tried to interpret and turn into art, and go out there to connect to country themselves,” she said.

“You don’t have to be an artist or a scientist to go out and look at rock closely, touch a banksia tree or observe what’s in a rock pool, but if you do want to get creative let yourself be inspired.”

Keep posted for further information about new dates for the exhibition.


By Sandra MOON

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