The Installation was made up of 15 life sized bagu (based on the Aboriginal rainforest fire making tools). Made from ceramic, metal, recycled materials and incorporating weaving techniques these statuesque figures were a imposing sight to see.
Following a successful funding application to the Australia Council for the Arts the artists working at the Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre in Cardwell began to create life size Bagu for the display at this year’s Strand Ephemera.
The artists approached the project in different ways, some with trepidation and some with enthusiasm. Everyone agreed that this work would be a wonderful opportunity to rise to the challenge of working with large objects and mixing traditional and contemporary materials.
Everyone has worked very hard to make this project happen and have gained a lot of experience, learned new skills and become more confident as work progressed.
The majority of the artists worked collaboratively and each tells a story on their Bagu. Some have a traditional message while others convey personal stories and others are a comment on contemporary life.
Girringun artists used a variety of materials including traditional timber (milky-pine), clay and cane through to recycled materials, ghost netting, packaging materials, banana twine, metal and more.
A number of the Bagu are painted with traditional patterns which, for Traditional Owners, are a form of identity and quite specific to different areas of the rainforest country. There are strict protocols involved in the use of the designs and they cannot be used by anyone who doesn’t have the permission to do so.
Girringun Artists took out the Awarded for Artistic Excellence, Artists involved Judith Henry, Theresa Beeron, Nephi Denham, Sally Murray, John Murray, Alison Murray, Debra Murray, Gloria Andy, Nina Andy, Leonard Andy, Ethel Murray, Nephi Denham, Emily Murray, Clarence Kinjun, Tonya Grant, Trish Beeron, Daniel Beeron, Eileen Tep, Grace Reid, George Beeron, Charlotte Beeron, Maureen Beeron.