Meet the Women Behind the Journeys Exhibition

18 May 2018

Belconnen Community Gallery is hosting a mixed media exhibition in celebration of Reconciliation Week 2018.

The exhibition will run until 8 June and is open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.

Four women, two identifying as Aboriginal, came together to share their artistic talents and tell the story of their journeys. Imogen Wall, Ceilidh Dalton, Lynn Talbot and Alison Simpson are all at different stages of their artistic journey, but they blended their mixed media to create the Journey’s Exhibition.

It all started with a visit to Eden during an Environmental Studio class which was part of Imogen and Ceilidh’s studies at the ANU School of Art.  At Eden, Imogen and Ceilidh learned about the Bundian Way, a pathway from the Snowy Mountains to the coast, and its significance.  Inspired by the stories they heard, the pair decided to team up with other artists and reflect on what they had learned.

“Ceilidh and I met at art school and we met Lynn at the Burrunju Aboriginal art gallery ,” Imogen said, “Then Ceilidh contacted a place near Eden … and that’s how she came to know Allison”.

Ceilidh said she was amazed by the depth of knowledge the local Aboriginal people had about the land. Plants she originally thought were weeds, she found were actually native foods and medicines.

Her jewellery and other artworks were inspired by the environment in the Bundian Way. She used wax to create moulds of native plants, and sculpted endangered animals before using them to cast the items on display.

“One of my favourite pieces is the bogong moth journey. It goes from this tiny little egg and it changes. It changes form, it changes the way it works, it almost changes character, as it grows into a grub, as it grows into a chrysalis and then emerges into this beautiful moth, which then travels thousands of kilometres after already going through this other journey,” Ceilidh said.

But, she said the exhibition was all Imogen’s idea.

Imogen said, “We decided the theme would be on journeys. The journey along the Bundian Way, the journey of the bogong moths … the journey towards reconciliation, and the journey you make yourself – of self-discovery.”

She said she thought everyone could relate to the theme, and explained why the idea of a journey’s had brought all the different artworks together.

“I’ve done the photographs, collages and one drawing. Everyone could have their own idea of a journey, either it was a literal journey or a symbolic journey and therefore it was quite a universal idea.” 

Lynn said her artwork is always about her journeys. She provided pieces of glass-work, woven baskets and, like Alison, paintings for the exhibition.

Lynn said, “What I’m trying to say in my artwork is that there are many communities. Many communities we go through, many journeys we take and you have to accept people and what they are. So reconciliation is a big thing for me, I think it’s really important” .

The four women also worked together to create a large collaborative piece. They included participants and employees at Belconnen Community Centre in the artistic process of making this piece.

“We hope people are inspired to think about their own journeys and how journeys can connect people and bring new perspectives,” they said.

Photo of bronze caste Bogong moth life cycle Photo of child making artwork Photo of Journeys Exhibition showcasing woven baskets and paintings Photo of children's hands making artPhoto of Journeys exhibition showcasing jewelry and paintingPhoto of Journeys exhibition photography pieces

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