Gosh I didn’t realise how long it had been since I’ve updated Gerald! 2016 has flown by! So many fantastic arts projects this year – I’ve really enjoyed the street art projects I’ve been involved with this year. I made my street art debut during the Adelaide Fringe and the Little Rundle Street Art Project with ‘Municipal Gum’ and ‘Burnt Scrub’. I absolutely loved the challenge of working on such a large scale. I was fortunate enough to work with the same group of artists in another project painting the walls along Goodwood Road outside the Adelaide Showgrounds. I also had my first solo exhibition – “Kurunpa” this year and some more textile releases with Lifewear. Not to mention the many canvas pieces I painted this year.
We’ve also added a new addition to the family, Benji Walter was born; it seems like only a month or so ago that I was lying on my belly on the bitumen in Little Rundle Street, feeling a little bloated and suspecting that there was a little being growing there. He was born critically ill and spent the first week of his life on a ventilator. I too was very unwell; it was a rough few weeks for everyone. After 21 days of IV antibiotics to treat suspected meningitis, Benji came home and we couldn’t imagine life without him now. An Anangu Ngangkari came to visit Benji and I on day 2. NICU staff watched on curiously while he blessed Benji and administered healing Anangu way. Did it help? Well… he’s here in my arms and perfectly healthy.
In 2017, Min starts school and Emmeline starts kindy. Finding a school that respects and celebrates Aboriginal perspectives and displays a high level of cultural competence has been… interesting. I went to a school tour and asked the principal what this particular school offered Indigenous kids. His response? “Oh well I’ve worked at *insert school with large Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population* and I’ve got some Aboriginal friends. Oh and see that girl over there? I don’t know if you noticed but she’s Aboriginal!” Upon challenging him further he then said “if you want that kind of thing you need to go to Elizabeth or Christies Beach…” Needless to say, we opted not to send him there. DECD still has much to learn. Having said that, I’ve worked with some exceptional educators this year who “get it” – and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in their daily practice.
Next year, I’ve got the most exciting artistic collaboration I’ve probably ever been involved with coming up during the Adelaide Fringe street art explosion and I cannot wait! I’ll be working with one of Australia’s most incredible street-art exports! Watch this space!
I’m also headlining ‘Wonderwalls’ – a street art festival being held in Port Adelaide. I’ll be painting a wall down there over the weekend of 21-23 April, so come and check it out!