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March 3, 2021

Dungarimba Wandarahn lights up The Quad in May

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Professor Norm Sheehan, Director of the Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples, and Janine Dunleavy, Director of Teaching and Learning at Gnibi with artist Craig Walsh. Photo supplied.

Internationally acclaimed multimedia artist Craig Walsh will create a large-scale digital work in the Lismore Quadrangle (The Quad) in May, providing a multi-sensory experience of Bundjalung language, history and story.

Dungarimba Wandarahn (Lismore place of learning) by Craig Walsh celebrates Bundjalung language and history in the heritage listed site.

Dungarimba Wandarahn is a multimedia work created in collaboration with Southern Cross University’s Indigenous School Gnibi Wandarahn, and Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School, Terranora.

The work is in response to the Lismore Quadrangle’s heritage-listed history as the original Lismore High School (now the Conservatorium of Music and Lismore Library).

Dungarimba Wandarahn is inspired by the stories and recollections of Bundjalung Elder, Aunty Irene Harrington. Photo supplied.

The work is inspired by the stories and recollections of a significant Bundjalung Elder, Aunty Irene Harrington, and her experience of attending the high school in the 1950s whilst living on the mission in Lismore.

Dungarimba Wandarahn juxtaposes two cultures and ways of learning, Bundjalung and Western, highlighting the complexity experienced by a young Bundjalung woman living in Lismore at this time.

Irene Harrington’s story is specific to the Lismore area but resonates with the experience of many Aboriginal people of her generation.

“The work takes the form of large-scale visual projections and audio installations occupying both nature and architecture as a catalyst to explore two very different forms of education,’ says Craig Walsh.

‘The work celebrates the resilience and commitment of Aboriginal people to retain traditional culture and language. It reclaims the Lismore Quadrangle as a historic “place of learning”, recognising the importance of cultural knowledge as essential to education.”

Norm Sheehan, Director of Gnibi Wandarahn at Southern Cross University, says Aboriginal peoples are connected to the origins of being through our stories. “Living connections sustain us through our families and our Country.

“We are also connected to the terrible impact of colonisation in our homelands. Through this connection we have realised our strength and resilience. This project depicts our reconnection through language to the future. Aunty Irene’s life shows us the power and beauty of connection as it flows through this work.”

A Tweed Heads local, Craig Walsh is renowned internationally for his pioneering works including innovative approaches to projection mapping in unconventional sites.

Dungarimba Wandarahn is a free event and will run over four nights in The Quad from 23 to 26 May.

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