Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Kooly in Cranebrook, a powerful site for storytelling

Off the Hook

Young people of Cranebrook worked with film-maker Issac Parsons and Christian Tancred of Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE) to develop digital works based on people and happenings in the community. The project was housed at the Koolyangarra Aboriginal Child & Family Centre and supported by staff Mary Ridgeway of Nepean Community Neighbourhood Services (NCNS). Head here http://ice.org.au/project/off-the-hook/ for more digital content from the project

The digital stories were woven together to form a script for a short film which was launched in August 2012 through a public reading of the script ‘Kasey is Missing’. Visitors and participants lent their voices to the characters and magic creatures of this tale. Leonie Haynes, a key participant said “We have been making movies and writing our own scripts and it has been really fun. This is the first time I have done anything like this.”

The engagement process has created deep connections between the partners on this project, building NCNS’ capacity to engage creatively and culturally. By participating in each step of the process towards film-making, young people have learnt skills in story telling in audio-visual forms, built confidence in their abilities and increased self esteem through the commitment of partner organisations to see their stories told.

The first public reading of a script for short film 'Kasey is Missing' , August 2012, Kooly. Photo by Mike Chin

Koolyangarra Aboriginal Art Project 

Artist Zane Walker worked with Cranebrook residents, young and old to paint the shed in vibrant colours and culturally significant designs to make the centre more comfortable to access.

NCNS’ Trudy Grant says “Zane spent time with young people involved in the project and explained the significants of the art work. He went through each symbol and talked about the totems and what area they represented. This gave young people the opportunity to identify the meaning behind the symbols and to contribute to their placement in the work. Visually the art work has a great deal of cultural significance, symbols and meaning to Kooly and local Aboriginal people”.

Members of the community that walk past the Centre each day have stopped and commented on how good the sheds look. “It captures your eye from the car park”, said one community worker.
The shed at Kooly, painted by artist Zane Walker and residents. Photo by Mike Chin
Putting the finishing touches to the artwork, August 2012. Photo by Mike Chin

When Neighbourhood Renewal went to visit Kooly, they were still painting. Someone said “If you don’t have anything to do, you can come and see Zane and he’ll teach you how to paint”. Nice one Zane, NCNS, and all contributors to the artwork.

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