‘VISION4CHANGE’ was an award winning collaborative exhibition project between the Yamba, Grafton, Maclean and Lawrence Museums and was also a first time partnership with a number of Aboriginal Elders throughout the Clarence Valley to share their stories.
Over 50 local historic photos dating as far back as the 1880’s combined with a variety of contemporary artworks were featured at the Yamba Museum from June 7 – July 14, 2013.
A number of photographs from an original Lindt Photo album gifted to the Grafton Museum over 50 years ago were dusted off and copied for the exhibition.
One of Lindt’s contemporaries, Grafton photographer Carl Ehlers whose work also featured local Aboriginal people, took his Aboriginal portraits outside into the natural environment giving a more realistic tone to the images. A number of Ehler’s portraits are quite confronting as his photos record some of the extreme hardships and conditions faced by local Aboriginal people during a time of rapid change.
Lawrence Museum kindly lent a number of photographs that featured an early 1900s cricket team and Archie Roach’s grandparents who came from Lawrence.
Photographs on loan from the Maclean Museum featured life on Ulgundahi Island, an Aboriginal Protection Board Mission near Maclean, from as far back as the early 1900s. The photographs depicted how the Aborigines celebrated Empire Day.
The four featured artists Frances Belle Parker, Jessica Birk, Danielle Gorogo and Elsie Randall are highly regarded and respected artists from the Clarence Valley. The four Aboriginal women have very different styles and brought to the exhibition a sense of pride and beauty in their culture, captured on canvas to share their own personal and unique journey.
Fifteen local Aboriginal people and Elders recently had their portraits taken and a number agreed to be interviewed for a short film which was included in the exhibition. That film can still be viewed online here
This exhibition won the 2013 IMAGinE Award for Audience Development from Museums and Galleries, NSW