Artist Report by Irene Ridgeway

by artist artist Front Page Artist Report

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Having the opportunity to attend a residency in Kandos prior to the festival, Cementa 19 has been an experience of obtaining knowledge, learning culture and cementing people, events and industrialization altogether.

On my first day of arrival till the last day of leaving there was always a sense of a belonging, not only to country but finding a new belonging to people and history? Knowing came from learning about how Kandos became a mining town, from the natural limestone quarry to the coal seam through ‘Old Baldy Mountian’, and the gingerbread lookalike Cement factory.

Going through the Museum viewing huge machinery (the crusher) which was used in the breaking down of limestone and dismantling the mantle, pulverizing millions of years of old, crushing it into dust.

ganguddy
ganguddy

Taken to Dunn’s Swamp, Ganguddy in Wollemi National Park with Christine, walking in natural beauty on land, seeing blown hand prints on sandstone rocks, being surrounded by natural flora and fauna almost pristine, and looking back in time and space t where Aboriginal people lived, fed and left their echo’s in life. (sounds resonate all around me)

Learning cultures as an Aboriginal artist will always enhance the development of my practice. Meeting’s of the Dabee people’s of Kandos, their families past and present has already placed images to submit. ‘Mind Frames’……Jimmy and his wife Peggy Lambert and their challenges colonizing peoples’s minds through their heritage. Peggy’s tenacity and flaunting her red skirt (influenced by society)

Placing people’s together on Country in an intercultural dependency of environment, land and colonization has always created conflict and sympathy. These great images of existence between two cultures lend itself to my interpretation of telling a story of “Being in Time and Space’.

cementary at Rylstone
cementary at Rylstone

Visiting the cemetery finding the ‘Plantation’, a place of Aboriginal burial, finding whole families from non-Indigenous peoples who have had their loved one’s taken from them due to disease and famine, documented on tombstones, written in stone. I will be placing all these images, people and places, which has been deeply ingrained in my mind, giving me an emotional microscope to relate these stories into contemporary art works.

I am a political artist who creates and suggests impressions on canvas or paper and other. I usually imagine what my art work will look like during the process, I’m always searching for a feeling, an emotion to capture a movement so the audience can feel as emotional as I so. Presentation is everything, like layering a cake, whether it is a single layer or multiple layers, each piece has to fit perfectly or the viewer will not be able to breathe in the whole experience. I have explored the construct of time and being and their connection to our lives, our past, our present and our future are all inter-connected. If we change the way we view our past, then we can make changes now, in this lifetime. Thanks you

magpies come for a visit
magpies come for a visit

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Artist Report by Irene Ridgeway
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