Thursday, October 18, 2012

Oakajee Port and Rail Announcement

October 18, 2012, Perth, Australia - Recipients of the Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) Good Heart Mid-West Aboriginal Art Project Development Grants have completed an intensive and rewarding week’s tuition at the Kidogo Art Institute in Fremantle.

Mullewa artist Wendy Jackamarra and Geraldton’s Margaret Danischewsky received the inaugural scholarships, which focused on applied art techniques and furthering artists’ understanding of how to operate within the art industry.

Exploring dozens of techniques on different surfaces, the artists learnt how to mix oxides, charcoal and ochres to various mediums. This included pen, ink, encaustic, solvent transfers, oil painting and acrylic mediums. The artists also experimented with glazes made from grass tree resins, shellac, egg tempera and other washes.
Under the tutelage of Kidogo’s Director Joanna Robertson, Senior Lecturer Aquila McKenzie and respected Noongar artist Sharyn Egan, the artists learnt about budgeting for grant applications and how to research and write papers on art history and influences of their art practice.

In addition, the artists were introduced to successful local Aboriginal artists Wendy Hayden, Deborah Bonar, Toogarr Morrison and Rod Collard, and were talked through some of the ongoing Public Art Projects by the Kidogo Artists team.

Ms Danichewsky and Ms Jackamarra also undertook an excursion to the Rio Tinto Colours of Our Country Aboriginal Art Exhibition in Perth.

Ms Robertson commended the artist’s dedication and eagerness to learn. “They absolutely soaked up every ounce of information we gave them.

“I think they were deeply moved by the experiences of being at Kidogo Arthouse and I am quite confident that from now on their work will take off into new territory and they will influence others to do the same,” Ms Robertson said.

Margaret Danischewsky, who has been studying art for many years, found the experience eye-opening.

"I thought I knew a lot about art, but I am amazed how much more there is to learn from coming here,” Ms Danischewsky said.

Both artists have enrolled on Kidogo’s accredited Certificate III Course in Visual Arts and will continue with their studies when they return to Geraldton.
OPR Chief Executive John Langoulant AO said it was an outstanding beginning to the next phase of development of Good Heart.

“The grants aim to secure the project’s long-term future, by encouraging the talents of emerging artists.

“With long-term partners expanding their support this year through a range of initiatives, our vision is to contribute to a self-sustaining model – where the annual exhibition provides an anchor for a host of other activities,” Mr Langoulant said.
The Good Heart program supports the Mid West Development Commission’s vision for a self-sustaining Indigenous arts industry.

OPR’s Good Heart project was recognised with a recent award from the Public Relations Institute of Australia’s WA Section 2012 Golden Target Awards in the Corporate Social Responsibility category.

Mr Langoulant thanked all supporters of Good Heart and the region’s arts organisations for their ongoing mutual commitment to mid-west Indigenous art.

About Oakajee Port and Rail’s (OPR):

Oakajee Port and Rail’s (OPR) vision is to deliver an integrated bulk iron ore supply chain for the mid- west – through the construction of a deepwater port 24km north of Geraldton, Western Australia, and a 570km railway, servicing the region’s emerging mining operations.