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Cavanbah (Meeting Place)

Byron Bay, Australia, 2012

A beautiful event of collective creativity appeared on Australia’s Byron Bay foreshore on NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) day last week. An art installation was facilitated by Karma Barnes from Imagine the Land Project who was honored to partake in this year’s Byron Bay NAIDOC celebrations.

The project worked with Arakwal custodian Delta Kay from the Arakwal Land Council. Over the duration of the day 100 hands worked together to create the beautiful land artwork Carinbah (the traditional Arakwal name for Byron Bay). Participants ranged from three years of age up to adults who worked together. The design came from the imagination of collective collaboration; no preliminary design was set out as the artwork just evolved with the essence of the day.

NAIDOC is a hugely important day in Australia to celebrate the achievements of Aboriginal people gaining land rights, in particular for the Byron Bays Arakwal people who gained Native Title to part of their traditional lands. It is a day to celebrate and to reflect together on how best Australia can move forward to look after the country. The installation was created using gathered natural materials from the Byron Bay region. The Carinbah art installation became a vibrant work representing the geological diversity from the region and its volcanic history.

Materials included Red Ochre, charcoal, Angalow Basalt, Goonengerry Rhyolite and different metamorphic soils from around the region. Often already disturbed sites are chosen to gather materials from so as not to generate any environmental disruption. The artwork is Impermanent and totally biodegradable and now sits weathered by the elements as the pigments return to the environment. The day after the Carinbah art installation was created the rains came, blessing the artwork and igniting the vibrancy of the earth pigments. A small handful of the materials from the installation will be gathered and taken to the next art installation weaving an unseen circle throughout the world.

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