The Cherbourg Yidding Artists had an wonderful art exhibition opening at the Gympie Regional Gallery on the 7 Match. They exhibited their latest contemporary artworks which had grown from a variety of art workshops that were held at the Ration Shed Museum over the past year. It was a wonderful day and it felt good to have the support of local Gympie Elders. Rocko Langton spoke about the importance of the support the artists had received for this exhibition. He sang “Cherbourg That is my Home” and the Ration Shed song which were very moving.
The artworks in the exhibition Cherbourg: That’s My Home were inspired by workshops held with internationally acclaimed artists Judy Watson, Gordon Hookey, both Waanyi artist based in Brisbane as well as from Peter Widmer from the Ratartat art collective in Ballarat. Cherbourg Yidding artists explored new approaches and techniques whilst continuing to develop their own unique cultural expression of blending traditional and contemporary styles. Works by Judy Watson and Gordon Hookey were exhibited alongside the works of the Cherbourg Yidding artists.
The Yidding artists experimented with pastel and ochre, charcoal and unusual combinations of oils, wax and caustic soda, ink and watercolour, acrylic and oil painting. Inspiration was drawn from artifacts and archival items at the Cherbourg Historical Precinct which included the original Ration Shed, The Boys Dormitory and the Superintendents office.
To support the exhibition, the Gympie Gallery hosted a “Meet the Artist session” on Tuesday 10 March. Judy Watson, Gordon Hookey and Rocko Langton were available and talked about the exhibition and their work. On the 16th of March there is a bus tour to Cherbourg from Gympie and on Wednesday 31 March there will be a talk at the gallery on the history of Cherbourg by historian Thom Blake and Indigenous author, Lesley Williams, who grew up in Cherbourg.
A big thank you to the support we received from the Gympie Regional Gallery and the Gympie Council. The exhibition is on until the end of April.
This project was supported by the Indigenous Regional Arts Development Fund (IRADF)