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In a collaboration between the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Gold Fields and the Museum of the Goldfields, East Kalgoorlie Primary School (EKPS) students embarked on a major art project with acclaimed local Aboriginal artists Edie Ulrich, Marjorie Stubbs and Danny Ulrich.
To kick off the Art Project, EKPS upper primary students attended a Day Out Bush on Thursday 6 June 2019, where the artists shared their knowledge of plants and animals, personal stories, language and their own cultural experiences.
The day was designed to be hands-on, allowing students to help dig for honey ants, identify plants, and find the tracks and signs of insect and animal life. This was followed by a lunch of damper, kangaroo tails and stew cooked and eaten around the campfire.
The day of exploration provided inspiration for a series of art workshops throughout Terms 2 and 3. Students produced individual artworks and then created a major collaborative work with the local artists.
As well as building students' art and language skills, the project provided the opportunity to build relationships, allowed passing of cultural knowledge between generations, and provided students with a taste of what it is like to have a career as an artist. Some of the students have been inspired to keep painting, discovering hidden talents through the project.
"I felt like I'd never painted before because I learnt so many new things. They taught me so much and I really liked seeing my painting in the Museum," said student Bella Walley.
"It was a really good experience to see professional artists and work with them. When I first started my painting I was blank. The artists and workshops helped me by doing it step by step," added student Ziena Warrell.
"The day we went out bush with my class was amazing and I just loved it! I really enjoyed the painting workshops because everyone's were different and there were lots of unique styles," concluded student Shaqueitta Wells.
EKPS Acting Principal Bernadette Delaney said, "When we launched our Ngalipa Wangka Community Room last year, we asked parents what they would like to see happening in the school and there was a clear desire for cultural activities, language and art.
"Based on this we developed the Ngalipa Wangka Art Project, which has immersed our students in the local landscape and culture, developed their art and language skills and allowed them to share these with the Kalgoorlie-Boulder community.
"This project is a real team effort and we are so grateful for the support we have received from The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Gold Fields St. Ives and the Museum of the Goldfields" she said.
The works produced during the Ngalipa Wangka Art Project were exhibited from 1 November - 31 December 2019 at the Museum of the Goldfields, where students and members of the community celebrated their achievements together. The paintings will again be exhibited at other local venues throughout 2020.