The Pormpuraaw Art & Culture Centre continues to build its long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with Brighton Grammar School in Melbourne, driving positive change and a stronger future for its community.
While Brighton Grammar enjoys school camps and other community and environmental initiatives in Pormpuraaw, in return, Pormpuraaw Art Centre runs a number of culture and art activities which encourage students from both schools to collaborate and engage together.
In October, seven senior students from Pormpuraaw spent a week at Brighton Grammar, hosted by families of Brighton school children. Two key artists, Syd Bruce Shortjoe and Christine Holroyd, along with their manager Paul Jakubowski, went to Brighton Grammar and ran an art and culture workshop. The shared goal is to create opportunities for local Pormpuraaw school children including potential scholarships to Brighton Grammar. For many Brighton students, contact with the local people of Pormpuraaw may be their first real contact with Aboriginal people. A recently published book “Pormpuraaw, Stories, Art, Language”, is a text book used by both schools aimed at bridging culture in a meaningful and valuable way.
Following their work in Melbourne, Syd Bruce Shortjoe, Christine Holroyd and Paul Jakubowski travelled to Adelaide and participated in the Tarnanthi Art Fair hosted by the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute and the Art Gallery of South Australia. They then attended the IACA conference in Cairns, an important forum for art centres to share stories, experiences and insights into their challenges and goals.
In other news, three years ago Pormpuraaw Art built what is claimed to be the largest ghost net sculpture in the world measuring 7.6 metres long. The work has previously been shown at CIAF and displayed at the Tjapukai Centre in Cairns, and now the giant crocodile sculpture has found a new home at TAFE in Cairns.
Main image credit: Student exchange and artist workshops between Pormpurraw and Brighton Grammar School, Image: Pormpuraaw Arts