Looking Through Windows project with Lorina Barker gets rolling for 2017

Posted: February 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

2016 saw SVM working again with oral historian, Dr Lorina Barker, continuing our 8 year long collaboration around her research into the family stories and history of people connected to the far western NSW communities of Bourke, Brewarrina and further north into the Corner Country of NSW – Wanaaring and Tibooburra. Much of the work we have done together deals with her field of research – the history and legacy of forced removal and dispossession of Aboriginal families in the far west of NSW, dating back to the 1930’s.

With Lorina and Brendan

On location with Dr Lorina Barker and DOP, Brendan Blacklock near Tibooburra – My Grandmother’s Country shoot, 2014

In late 2016 we started planning  for a major exhibition slated for the New England Regional Art Museum in November of this year – following on from the work we did presenting a small work-in-progress exhibition, curated by Lorina, in the Bourke CWA building during the 2016 Back To Bourke Easter Weekend event.

Titled Film Through 1000 Images, this featured artworks, installations, video and projections representing the work we did on her 2014 film project My Grandmother’s Country.

During the second half of 2016 Lorina began negotiations with NERAM, supported and encouraged by the Museum’s director, Robert Heather, for a much larger work,Looking Through Windows, building on the same concept. This year we work with other communities, family groups and descendants from other language groups and clans. We will include stories from the Armidale area and a first engagement of the coastal communities of the Gumbangyir people. We go this year from desert to the mountains and to the sea, gathering stories.

With the added support of Lorrayne Riggs, Aboriginal Arts Officer from Arts North West, Lorina applied for, and was successful in obtaining major funding over a two year period to curate and mount a much larger exhibition, again employing mixed and multi media to tell the stories of people from over a dozen different language groups. This exhibition, auspiced by community development company 2 Rivers, premieres 2017 at NERAM and is planned for the Campbelltown Arts Centre in Sydney for 2018.
Funding announced


Bourke elder Phil Sullivan launching Looking Through Windows for Back To Bourke exhibition, Easter 2016

This year we also strengthen our connections to culture, language and literacy. Lorina has an association through the University of New England with the Language For Life literacy program which has been a long term supporter of her work in community and for 2017, have enlisted local songwriter, singer and musician, Simon Mellor, who has been working for sometime with music and indigenous language with young people in the communities of Moree. Simon joins the team following the recent launch of a CD of his songs that accompany the children’s book written by well known comedian and television star Anh Do. Here’s a feature on Simon in the New England Focus magazine…

It’s looking like a big year ahead and SVM is looking forward to working with Lorina and her team. Brendan Blacklock returns as DOP, joined by emerging filmmaker Lyndsay Urqart, along with last year’s team of Matt Pilkington (sculptor), Beth O’Loughlan (photographer) and Kim Scales (visual artist).

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