8-15 November 2020
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Healing exhibition, Melton Arts, CS Gallery Window Commission, Mandi Barton, Aboriginal art


Event Organiser Name: 
Melton City Council Arts
Event Organiser Email: 
Thursday, October 8, 2020 - 09:45 to Sunday, November 15, 2020 - 09:00
Cost of Entry: 
Event Venue: 
CS Gallery, 193 - 201 Caroline Springs Boulevard, Caroline Springs
Caroline Springs
Post Code: 
Healing exhibition, Melton Arts, CS Gallery Window Commission, Mandi Barton, Aboriginal art
‘Healing’ is a large scale digital art installation created by Aboriginal artist Mandi Barton, a Yorta Yorta woman who lives in Melbourne’s west. Mandi was commissioned by Melton City Council to address health and wellbeing messages related to the COVID-19 crisis and explore the impact on Indigenous connections, narratives and identities. The artwork is currently on display outside CS Gallery, next to Caroline Springs Library and Learning Hub. In Mandi's word's: "Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community has stepped up to the challenge. With our ingrained knowledge and strength we are readily prepared to ensure that there is no further trauma to our community members. The 5 main ‘C’s’ are the prevalent strengths that help us get through during this time. The 5 ‘C’s’ are: Culture, Clan (family), Country, Community, Connection Representing the ‘Country’, all 7 photographs were taken from the local Wurundjeri country at Kororoit Creek, Burnside. The images overlaid on the photos represent healing and nurturing from our Mother Earth and the guardian of cultural knowledge and wisdom. It represents the act of connecting with the land within the local area during the pandemic. ‘Kororoit Creek’ is the main feature that runs through all the artwork, connecting each image together. Hidden in the 3rd photograph is a white butterfly, which was captured in the vicinity of ‘Bullum Bullum’ Reserve. Bullum Bullum is the name for ‘white butterfly’ in the local Woiwurrung language of the Wurundjeri people. The first artwork depicts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people holding up the community. The meeting place symbol is the community. The sun is shining its energy and strength over everyone. The second artwork depicts Kororoit Creek and the circle with men and women symbols represented the ‘Clans’. All the different families practicing physical distancing but socially coming together by phone calls, video chat and social. The third artwork depicts the beginning of the message stick and Kororoit Creek running through the meeting place. The meeting place symbols are representing the ‘Community’. The different communities, community members and different organisations that stepped up to support the social, emotional, mental and physical wellbeing of community members especially Elders and the most vulnerable. The fourth artwork depicts Kororoit Creek over the mountains (the landscape/countryside). The message stick representing ‘Connection’. The message stick is the communication, it ensures the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ connection to their basic needs such as food, health (medical and fitness), accommodation and social connection to friends, family and community. Around the message stick is all the different paths taken and explored to ensure that this connection happened. The fifth artwork depicts the end of the message stick and the flow of Kororoit Creek past more family groups (the circle symbol) in other areas. The sixth artwork depicts Kororoit Creek and a waterhole. The waterhole where people in community come to have a rest and practice self-care. The seventh artwork depicts Kororoit Creek, a spirit ancestor and a circle. ‘Culture’ represented by the fire and ceremony circle. Weaving, art and storytelling were the main avenues our people connected to culture when isolating. The cultural connection to our Spirit Ancestor, provides a guiding and healing light."