Next for the Bermagui Project…

Commission | Geoffrey Badger to write for massed voices

Four Winds is excited to be commissioning a new work for massed choir by Geoffrey Badger. The work will be inspired by the eight exquisite estuaries between Gulaga and Mumbulla mountains, their catchments, people, histories and issues. Thanks to our partnership with Musica Viva, Geoffrey will be mentored throughout the project by one of his favourite choral composers and conductors, Paul Jarman. Our community wont miss out on working with Paul either, August 5th and 6th Paul will be giving a workshop ‘Sing for your Soul’ to celebrate the joy of singing, for those of all ages and all abilities. Book tickets here!

Creative Field Study #3 | Friday 11 to Sunday 13 August 2017

Also in August Justina Legoe and David Hewitt will be leading our third Creative Field Study. This study will focus on the catchment areas of Nelson’s Lagoon and Wapengo. The three Creative Field Studies are working towards a join exhibition at the ANU School of Art Foyer Gallery in Canberra, which will be open to the public from Wednesday 25th October, and locally at the Bega Regional Gallery. Stay tuned for more details…

Bermagui Project Reference Group

View Bermagui Project resources here…

Bermagui Project is informed by a diverse and stimulating group of knowledge sharers that include geologists, environmental scientists, Traditional Owners, activists, social scientists, authors, to provide some examples. They are known as the Bermagui Project Reference Group and they are all leaders in their field of thinking. The reference group will brief artists on location and we are in the process of uploading brief information sheets here for artists to refer back to for inspiration.

Fresh Salt | An Exhibiton of Visual Art | 25 October – 4 November 2017

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Fresh Salt | An Exhibiton of Visual Art | 25 October – 4 November 2017 | Info

FOUR WINDS INVITES YOU TO AN EXHIBITION AND PREMIER MUSIC PERFORMANCE

FRESH SALT: AN EXHIBITON OF VISUAL ART
25 OCTOBER – 4 NOVEMBER 2017

OPENING NIGHT
6PM, THURSDAY 26 OCTOBER 2017.
FOYER GALLERY ANU SCHOOL OF ART AND DESIGN
2 CHILDERS STREET, ACTON, ACT 2601

OPENING ADDRESS: TIM HOLLO
DIRECTOR, GREEN MUSIC AUSTRALIA

FRESH SALT PREMIER MUSIC PERFORMANCE
7:00 THURSDAY 26 OCTOBER 2017

LARRY SITSKY ROOM
ANU SCHOOL OF MUSIC, BUILDING 100
WILLIAM HERBERT PLACE, ACTON, ACT 2601
(5 MIN WALKING DISTANCE FROM EXHIBITION OPENING)

A collaboration between visual artists, musicians, composers, choreographers and creative writers inspired by the estuaries of the NSW Far South Coast – Yuin Country – where fresh and salt water mix.

As the waters mingle so do the artists, stories, data, history and ideas in response to the place – between the sacred mountains of Gulaga and Mumbulla.

The result is a catalogued exhibition of visual art and a premier performance of original music compositions.

Four Winds’s Bermagui Project is a cultural conversation between Aboriginal elders, scientists, historians, farmers, council workers, local community and artists.

Fresh Salt aims to raise community awareness about the ecological and cultural significance of the estuaries of the NSW Far South Coast – Yuin Country through the power of art.

Its fresh and you can feel the salt.

Bookings at www.fourwinds.com.au/whats-on or call 2 6493 3414

Field Studies Day Two August 2017

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An afternoon with Warren Foster Mum bulla Falls

By Elena Delmercato, Four Winds Volunteer

On day two, the artists gathered under the trees at Mum bulla Falls to listen to Warren Foster Yuin Community Leader, share stories about his connection to place.

A gifted story teller, Warren spoke engagingly about the relationship he and the people of the Yuin nation have with the natural world. Gesturing behind the group to the tall trees along the river bank, he told the group how ‘We look for signs in the trees. They tell us things and teach us…when the wattle is flowering it tells us there are fish in the rivers. When we come to the bush we talk to the bush, we sing to the bush.”. Warren also spoke about the sense of responsibility he feels to look after the land, “We are here to protect and look after the land…we come from mother earth; we have to put back in mother earth”.


Mum bulla is considered the man’s mountain, and it is a special place for ceremonies to mark the passing of young boys into adulthood. Warren shared with the group how the natural environment, in particular the nearby waterfalls, form part of the ceremony, “At the top of the waterfall you are still a boy. When you slide down into the water and come out below, you are a man.”.

At one point, Warren finished talking and started singing, a song that explained his connection to his land. The group was silent, and as he sang, it was as if the sounds of the bush were accompanying him – various birds called out, trees rustled as they moved in the wind, and the sound of the river. And in the back ground, the sound of Warren’s two young boys as they jumped about on the creek bed. It was a reminder that this bush, and this place had meaning not just for Warren but his family. Just as Bithry Inlet had meaning for the Grounds family. Places, and stories about places, that connect families and honour and respect the natural environment.

As on the previous day, the session ended with a note of thanks and recognition for the natural world. This time it was Warren who told the group how he respected this place every time he visits, and encouraged them to do the same ‘Every time I come up this mountain I take a drink from the creek and say thank you’.

A special thanks to Elena Delmercato and Ben Cunningham, Four Winds Volunteers, for attending the field studies weekend as media/film crew

Field Studies Day One August 2017

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A visit with Marr and Marina Grounds at Myer House, Bithry Inlet

By Elena Delmercato, Four Winds Volunteer

Day One began with a session with Marr and Marina Grounds, son and granddaughter of Roy Grounds, the architect of Myer House, who established the property with Kenneth Myer. The artists gathered around the large wooden table in the impressive dining room of Myer House, the winter morning light streaming through the widows, to listen as Marina and Marr explained their connection to the house and to Bithry Inlet. As the morning unfolded, and Marina and Marr shared their memories with great generosity, the group witnessed the power of storytelling across generations and came to understand how this special place, and its unique natural environment, came to mean so much to their family.

The Grounds and Myer connection to the land began in the 1940’s, when, according to the story handed down in the families, the oysters in the nearby inlets were a big part of why the two friends chose this place – ‘The story goes that Ken and Roy were touring the coast sampling the oysters from all of the inlets when they discovered this land” said Marina.

The families shared a fascination and respect for the natural world. Ken was fascinated by the ecology of the marine environment, and Marina remembered that he could identify every fish, plant, animal, fungi or orchid, ‘In his room here at the house he kept detailed records and charts, including how many oysters he had caught’ recalled Marina. Her father, Marr, son of Roy, lived in the Barn from the mid 1980’s and created art there with his wife, also an artist. Marina would visit her dad, and recalled with joy the experiences of nature and the incredible freedom you get growing up in an environment like this’. Dad had one rule for me when I was growing up, she shared with the group, “If I ever left what we called ‘hearing and seeing distance’, I had to write a note and leave it under a stone”.

The place –both the buildings and the landscapes that are intertwined with them – continue to have great meaning for the descendants of Roy Grounds – “Coming here for me has always been coming home’ says Marina. While for Marr, Bithry Inlet gave him the opportunity to live ‘…the natural existence, a life lived without much infrastructure. A very simple life’. “In their great wisdom, my father and Ken Myer gave this special place to the Parks NSW”, said Marina. Asked about her feelings about the handover of the property to Parks NSW, Marina told the group, “The fact that place was no longer private, was in fact, really important. It is too special to be privately held”.

Over the course of the conversation, the group of artists came to understand how the passion of these two private families for the natural environment had helped to protect the unique and pristine land at Bithry Inlet. As Marina observes, “The ecology of the area is still intact; there are valleys full of ferns; and vines growing up the trees”.  As the group was moving to walk out towards the point and the equally distinctive external buildings, Lee Cruise, a visual artist and Yuin community member, addressed Marina and Marr and said ‘On behalf of my people, we owe you a thank you.  I come up here often with my father and grandfather; it is still its original environment. Thank you’.

A special thanks to Elena Delmercato and Ben Cunningham, Four Winds Volunteers, for attending the field studies weekend as media/film crew

The Bermagui Project’s second Creative Field Study is an inspiration

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Performing and visual artists, including leaders Tony King and Kris Ralph of Beautifully Mad, came together for three days to explore the Bermagui and Wallaga Lake estuaries, their catchments and stories. Based on this fieldwork the artist will produce new work that will be exhibited in Canberra and Bega. We’d like to say thank you to the knowledge sharers that made this Create Field Study so inspiring…

Montreal Goldfields, our guides Judi, Bob and Malcolm were engaging and devoted to the preservation of the hand-dug mines and the stories of that era.

John Blay shared his vast knowledge of the terrain from the coast to Cooma, his connection to the place and people, through great story telling and this was enhanced by the spontaneous and insightful contribution of Cheryl Davison.

Clean Energy for Eternity‘s Bill Southwood talked climate change mitigation and inspired us with the stories of communities taking climate action. He was joined by the provocative John James with an argument for climate adaptation and some distressing images of Bermagui under various sea level rise scenarios.

Trevor King’s vision for the preservation of the Bermagui River Wetlands was palpable and certainly re-invigorated the inspiration of the artists.

This exploration took the artists hiking up Gulaga with local Yuin knowledge sharer Warren Foster. An experience the artists described as “powerful” and “deeply spiritual”.

We were in great hands kayaking across Wallaga Lake with The River Rock Cafe‘s Matt and Shane, plus estuary scientist Emma Maratea. Their insights highlighted the difficulty of balancing the health of the lake systems with the demands of an increasing human population.

Finally Cheryl Davison shared her basket weaving and knowledge of Murunna Point taking us closer to understanding the sorrow and anger of a culture that is trying to recover from oppression only to face the threats of climate change.

The conversations, heated debates, laughter and tears made this Creative Field Study a rich source of inspiration for new works of art; thank you to everyone who contributed their time and knowledge.

The Bermagui Project’s first Creative Field Study is a BioBlitz!

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14 artists, including leaders Carolyn Young and Sharon Field from Canberra, spent three days at Four Winds…
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…absorbing inspiration from each other, the Four Winds site, talks from the project’s Reference Group and the hive of activity that was the Four Winds BioBlitz.

The BioBlitz, made possible by Atlas of Life and Bournda Environmental Education Centre, brought scientists and naturalists from around the country to lead our community on flora and fauna surveys. Formidable survey results came back teeming with shells, moths, birds and the possible discovery of a new species of peacock spider (read about it here in the Bega District News), which has now been confirmed!

Take a look at photos from the BioBlitz here…

Artists left the Creative Field Study with a new network of likeminded artists, inspiration for a whole new body of work and ideas for exhibitions. If you’d like to be part of our 2017 Creative Field Studies, please submit an expression of interest here…

Four Winds Call to Artists | Bermagui Project Creative Field Studies

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Call out to Artists… Would you like to take part in a FREE Creative Field Studies project on the South Coast?

Would you like the opportunity to exhibit your artwork at the Bega Valley Shire Regional Gallery and in Canberra? 

Are you looking for new approaches and inspiration? Are you interested in the environment?sharon-field-botanical-art-mixed-flowers-exotics

This is a call out to visual artists, performing artists, media artists, textiles and fibre artists, writers, storytellers, slam poets, filmmakers, composers… artists of any medium! There will be two more Four Winds Creative Field Studies running in early 2017 in the South Coast region. If you are interested in being considered for these – whatever your art medium – please email your expression of interest to admin@fourwinds.com.au.

This opportunity is brought to you by Four Winds, Arts NSW and the Australian National University. With thanks to Cardno.

 

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Header image: ‘Real Rivers Series’ by Carolyn Young
Inset image 1: ‘Mixed Flowers (Exotic)’ by Sharon Field
Inset image 2: ‘Grassy Woodlands’ Series by Carolyn Young
Footer image: Four Winds Nature’s Concert Hall by Robert Tacheci

www.fourwinds.com.au

Griffyn & Red Note Making Music in the Valley

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Griffyn Ensemble and Red Note Ensemble have been in residence this week in the lead up to the Sisters in Crime weekend, spending time with local residents and creating new music inspired by this experience.

Come along and hear their music and a little about their time in the Bega Valley. Its free!
A showing of the music created will be held on Friday 7 October at 6PM in the Bermagui Community Centre Hall.

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Bermagui children informing the creation of new music

Griffyn Ensemble have traveled from Canberra and Red Note Ensemble all the way from Scotland to create new music as part of our Bermagui Project. Big thanks to Regional Arts Fund and Arts NSW for making this possible!

Wise Up to Wetlands

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Four Winds exists to enrich the lives of people through the power of unique music-in-nature experiences. We are also committed to raising an awareness of nature through the artistic form. We believe this creates a dialogue and stimulates thought regarding environmental issues in an innovative way that extends the reach of important environmental issues and concerns to new audiences.

Wise up to Wetlands is a school based artistic program that aims to raise an awareness and knowledge of the important wetland areas in Bermagui. There is a clear lack of community knowledge about the uniqueness and value of these areas that we hope to address by instilling an awareness, recognition and pride in them.

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The project involves the commissioning of a song to be composed by four of Four Winds Indigenous artistic collaborators: Warren Foster Snr, Warren Foster Jnr, Jacob Morris, and Joel Deaves. These artists have consistently provided quality musical outcomes in past projects with us. As Yuin Traditional Owners they are committed to education about important wetlands.

Once developed, the Bermagui Primary School will partner with us to teach the song to 150 students so that it may be performed at future Four Winds, school and community events.

This project compliments and supports another developing Four Winds project, known as the ‘Bermagui Project’ which brings together Indigenous, arts and non-arts (eg. sciences, philosophy, health) communities to creatively collaborate in alternative ways of engaging communities about place by provoking dialogue and attracting audiences to be active participants. With both these projects, we seek to promote the cross-cultural knowledge of contemporary Indigenous artists whose ancestry has long recognised this place and the link between art, culture and expression.

Four Winds is extremely grateful to Local Land Services South East for their support as a funder of the Wise Up to Wetlands project.

Bermagui Primary Records New Wetlands Song at Four Winds

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On Monday 14th December, Four Winds welcomed the children of Bermagui Primary School to the Pavilion for a day of music-making and artistic exploration.

The Indigenous artists worked with the children to record and engineer a new song as part of the ‘Wise Up to Wetlands’ project: a school based artistic program that aims to raise an awareness and knowledge of the important wetland areas in Bermagui. The project was funded, in part, by NSW Local Land Services.

Yuin artists, Warren Foster Snr, Warren Foster Jnr, Joel Deaves and Jacob Morris, were on hand to lead and accompany the children through the recording of a song they had composed for them.

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Warren Foster Snr and other local musicians helping the Bermagui Primary children record in the Pavilion

Take a listen of the Wetlands Song recording here:

 

The project was also an opportunity for the children to have their music recorded by local professional recording artists, Michael Hanlon and Sats Kramer. After just a few takes and with the support of music teacher Merinda Antill, the track was laid and it was time for the children to relax and enjoy the surrounds.

Here’s a little video of the kids’ visual and sound creations from the day:

Yellow Team = Kindergarten on visuals, Yr 3/4 on sound

Red Team = Yr 1 on visuals, Yr 4/5 on sound

Blue Team – Yr 2 on visuals, Yr 2/3 on sound

For many of our local children, it was the first time they had seen the site and many were asking about the festival and Four Winds activities.

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The Bermagui Primary kids taking inspiration from nature

After lunch the children took part in creating a visual and sound artscape; inspired by nature, in nature and with nature. Dividing up into groups, the children created three-dimensional collages using natural materials found around on site.

www.fourwinds.com.au

The Bermagui Project

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The Bermagui Project is a process of coming together and discovering, transferring knowledge and reflecting about our place. The project will draw together stories, culture, history and knowledge of our place and reflect that in new works of music, dance and art, as well as how we experience the Four Winds’ site.

Our 10ha site has two architect designed arts performances spaces with manicured surrounds providing an inspirational setting for music. To enhance our natural environment, Four Winds decided to transform much of the remaining area of ex-beef cattle grazing land, into a native species arboretum. With major input from local Landcare, botanists and Indigenous local knowledge, including creating interpretive signage, we will restore the original flora – greatly increasing biodiversity – and provide native species education and for our local, regional and national community.

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The Bermagui Project is a commitment to our beliefs: that music making can transform lives; that our place, our site and our community are connected; that the environment is vital to human flourishment; and that a strong cultural life helps create a strong community.

 

Bermagui Project Stage 1 | 2014 – 2015:

The first year, 2014, of the Bermagui Project worked to build on our years of song-writing workshops with the local Koori community, Shellie Morris returned with Archie Roach to perform and to continue composing music with local Indigenous musicians. In 2016, David Leha (Radical Son) continued this work, resulting in a performance at the 2016 Festival.

We worked to:

  1. Build stronger relationships with local Indigenous communities as the basis for ongoing creative arts projects and collaborations;
  2. Foster two-way learning between Indigenous and non-indigenous members of the community;
  3. Work with emerging musicians and potential or existing artistic leaders and mentors to create pathways for others in the community to be supported in music making;
  4. Create more opportunities for original works of music (dance, arts?) to be presented in the community;
  5. Involve local professional musicians so that the creative lives of participating artists, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, are enriched.
  6. Inform the way the Four Winds’ evolves as a native species arboretum and space for performance and education

We invite you to stay in touch for more developments of this exciting project.

Bermagui Primary Wetlands Song Day

CLICK HERE to view the Wetlands Song creation story as part of Bermagui Project Phase 1

 

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CLICK HERE to see the Four Seasons Live Streamed event from the Sydney Opera House, followed by an afternoon of Bermagui Project activities with local schools

 

Bermagui Project Stage 2 | 2016 – 2018

Stage 2 of the Bermagui Project has now received funding from Arts NSW and the Federal Government’s Regional Development Fund. It builds on, and significantly develops, the initial Indigenous phase of this project as well as confirming our track record for delivering projects by working in partnership with the community.

The Bermagui Project is a cultural conversation instigated through creative collaborations between musical and visual artists, scientists and the South Coast community. It encourages communities to reflect on ‘place’, inspired by local Indigenous knowledge, scientific analysis of the environment and through creative arts practice.

The project’s geographical focus is the country between Mount Gulaga and Mumbulla Mountain and involves the Indigenous community, professional artists, ANU, regional artists and young people.The ANU School of Art Field Studies Program methodology will be used to train leading visual artists as co-ordinators, working with other visual artists from our region whose work is inspired by our place.The resulting works will be exhibited as part of a collaboration with the Bega Regional Gallery.

As part of our commitment to supporting the development of the arts in our region, Four Winds will continue to be part of the National Music Teacher Mentoring program in 2016. We will be exploring a theme of music and words for a different style of festival in 2017 and commissioning different works leading into our Easter Festival in 2018.

 

www.fourwinds.com.au