Twin Creeks Events
The Porongurup community came together
for a performance of THE STARS DESCEND Inspirational!
Wonderful story in movement and music!
were some of the comments I heard as we walked back to the refreshment stalls set up at Twin Creeks Conservation Reserve from the bush site where a dance performance by local volunteers was held. Judy O’Neill.
Photocredit: Nic Duncan
The low, slow moving grey clouds hinting of rain provided a dramatic backdrop for the 298 patrons who attended the Twin Creeks performance of ‘The Stars Descend’. Twenty-four volunteer dancers from our local community were accompanied by professional soloists Janine Oxenham and Russell Thorpe. This was chapter 3 of the five chapters produced for regional groups to inspire climate action through creative dance. Artistic Director and project manager, Annette Carmichael, explained, "The aim of this project is to create extraordinary memories that will transform how people see and care for country." In early 2021, Annette formed a partnership with conservation legend and Gondwana Link CEO Keith Bradby to create five regional dance performances highlighting the importance of environmental restoration and the significance of connections across the Link. In the past two decades, inspired by the Gondwana Link vision, private landowners, community groups and conservation minded organisations (including the Porongurup Friends), have worked to reconnect 1000km of continuous native habitat. Over five chapters a story unfolded that tracked the stars’ journey across the Gondwana Link. In Chapter 3 the stars travel through the granite in the sparkle and quartz of its seams until they reach the ancient Porongurup Range. They glitter, shimmering upwards. They reach into the sky of a setting sun ready to re-join the evening stars, but they hear the birds of the Great Western Woodlands call and in a moment of suspended breath, they fall again, land in the pools of water that form around granite and float towards the Fitzgerald Biosphere. The story ends in Kalgoorlie (Garlgula/Karlkurla) when an emu lays an egg that contains a universe of knowledge and hope for the future. A silky pear grows within the egg, its seeds are like stars, and they are caught by the night breeze and spread out across the country. On behalf of the Porongurup Friends executive committee, a heartfelt thank you to Annette Carmichael and her production team, to the many Friends’ members, notably the extraordinary effort by local producer, Sayah Drummond. There were many volunteers behind the scenes: bus drivers, local and mobile food and drink caterers, marshals, sponsors, and advisors who contributed to the success of a memorable evening. And… last words to Keith Bradby: “We are delighted to be part of this exciting partnership with Annette Carmichael Projects. This fusion of creativity and conservation will be invaluable in encouraging more Australians to appreciate the beauty and global importance of our regional environments, the talent of local communities and the many ways we can both enjoy and restore important Australian landscapes and habitats.” The list of first nation consultants, artistic and production teams, the community dance ensemble and acknowledgements: https://distributed15.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Event-Programme-F2-sm.pdf
Gondwana Link Sculpture
Ben Beeton is a Queensland based artist who has focused on presenting and interpreting the grand evolutionary stories of Australia. In 2017, during a Gondwana Link Artist in Residence project at the Albany Vancouver Arts Centre, Ben was introduced to local Menang Noongar Elder and cultural advisor, Carol Pettersen. The idea for creating an artwork that brought together evolutionary and cultural richness emerged from Carol’s accounts of her family’s song lines as she was growing up in the southwest. The 3.5m sculpture, representing the evolution of regional flora and fauna over hundreds of millions of years, through the lens of Noongar and western viewpoints, is the result of their collaboration.
Research for the selected regional flora and fauna species was undertaken by a group of people renowned for their expert local knowledge: members of the Porongurup Friends’ citizen science fauna team, Bo Janmaat and Loxley Fedec, native seed specialist Peter Luscombe and tour operator Gary Muir, of WOW Wilderness Ecocruise.
Carol Pettersen held a series of workshops with regional Noongar artists, including with Noongar inmates of Pardelup Prison Farm, to create representations of flora and fauna in traditional style for the outer 15 panels of the sculpture.
The inner panels feature naturalist studies of selected species created by Ben and scientific illustrator, Mali Moir. Further plant studies were exquisitely drawn in detail by artist Jane Thompson. Textile artist Jenny Wilson created natural, dyed regional plant impressions representing how plants may appear in the fossil record of the future.
The sculpture was crafted by Mark Hewson of Torbay Glass Studio in collaboration with local steel manufacturer Patrick Bocian of Bakers Junction Engineering.
Funding for the sculpture and its artwork was provided by the WA Government through the Great Southern Development Commission's Regional Economic Development Grants Program, a Regional Arts WA Resilience Grant, and Gondwana Link. The project was overseen by Gondwana Link with coordination support by Elizabeth Jack, Centre of Sustainable Tourism.
The sculpture has been permanently installed within the Twin Creeks Conservation Reserve which is privately owned by the Friends of the Porongurup Range.
The sculpture is the first in a series of proposed public artworks to link Indigenous song lines across Australia
Permission to reprint courtesy of the Albany Advertiser
© 2021 Albany Advertiser
We acknowledge the Noongar people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and live.
We pay our respects to the Elders, past, present, and emerging and to the wider Noongar community.
Address: PO Box 514 Mt Barker WA 6324
© Copyright. All Rights Reserved by Friends of the Porongurup Range
This revised website is supported by funding from the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program.