On Friday the 6th of February, the day of the Artists at the Helm opening event, six red tailed black cockatoos flew screeching across the sky as I pulled into the BRAG car park. This seemed a fitting sign of the importance of the work put in by all the artists and writers who participated in the project, and a reminder also of David Patterson, who worked tirelessly to protect these creatures and sadly passed away this January, leaving Dee Patterson to carry on with this work.
The spirit of these cockatoos we present in the opening event, with powerful performances and poetry readings by Mitchella Hutchins, Rachel Wyder, Wendy Slee, Jenny De Garis, Vahri McKenzie, Joshua Ledger and Leslie Jacks.
The audience of more than 130 people, were moved both by these performances, and by the artwork exhibited in the gallery, which together created a strong sense of the power and the intrinsic value of this piece of forest.
The event also raised $150 for Jamarri Black Cockatoo Sanctuary through donations, and around $70 more through the sale of Rachel Wyder’s diviners of hope and habitat and Simone Pilla and Vahri McKenzie’s poster prints.
Artists at the Helm is on at Bunbury Regional Art Galleries until the 23rd of Feb.
photography in this post courtesy of Julian Bowron