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CIT Yurauna Centre Art on Show at Floriade

Published: 16 Aug 2016

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Image: CIT Yurauna Centre art students (front L-R) Noelene Morrison, Jessica McGrath-Fogarty, Maria McIntosh and Georgette Lord (Back L-R) Leanne Pope (teacher), Jermaine Kennedy, Thomas Reid and Jordie Ellis.

Daffodils, pollen and lambs are some of the things Australians often associate with spring, but an Indigenous art installation by CIT Yurauna Centre students will showcase a different side of the season for Floriade.

"Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have always been interested in what's going on in the seasons. We know spring is here when we see black wattle and a lot of smaller animals about, like ants, butterflies, snakes and lizards,” says CIT Yurauna Centre's cultural arts teacher, Leanne Pope.

"We're getting into the spirit of spring," she says, looking over the artworks in progress.

The class is painting cement pavers which will lead into the main tent at Floriade, decorating them with small animals, black wattle, traditional patterns and Ngunnawal words.

Maria McIntosh has started studying art at CIT Yurauna Centre this year, and is decorating a paver with a design featuring a lizard. She says the opportunity to exhibit work at Floriade is exciting.

"For everyone here, having our art on exhibit is great. It's good for confidence and recognition," she says. "I enjoy being part of art group and having an enthusiastic teacher to inspire me."

Jessica McGrath-Fogarty has always loved butterflies, so her design will feature butterflies and gumnuts in vibrant orange, reds and yellows.

For student Jermaine Kennedy, it's a great opportunity to get his work "out there". A Wiradjuri man, Jermaine has been painting since he was 10 and "learnt heaps from being here". He hopes the installation will help bring other students in to study art.

In contrast with the small mammals and reptiles the students are painting, there will be no hiding these artworks. Leanne says they have the whole back wall of the main tent to work with as well, and for that they'll be working with woods and six tree trunks between 1.5 and 2.5 metres in height.

The pavers will lead people in from the outside, and they have been coated in glow-in-the-dark spray paint to fulfil the brief of creating art that will function at night.

"The students have had to do a lot of creative thinking and design planning to ensure there is continuity from the outside of the tent and throughout."

"We have some really talented art students and we offer some great courses in art. This installation at Floriade will be a really great opportunity for the community to see what the CIT Yurauna Centre does," Ms Pope said.

The installation, which the students have called 'Our Dreaming', will be installed at Floriade on 12 September ready for the opening of Floriade on 17 September.