I went to the Art Gallery last night and saw the exhibition of Aboriginal art that is part of the Tarnanthi Festival. It was all really beautiful and thought provoking, and I could have spent hours more time there (but they closed!). One of the pieces was called ‘Every face has a story, every story has a face: Kulila!’. I have taken photos of it above, including the comment made by the artists, and a list of their names. (Here is a link to a page on the Art Gallery’s website that includes more info and better pictures!)
I was particularly struck that the word Kulila means Listen. The women work together to make their sculptures and talk over their lives while they do so, so they can make their lives better. What a gift this must be, to talk and listen and make together, something women have been doing for a long long time.
The rest of the title of the work also affected me – every face does have a story and every story does have a face – this is something that I know really well from work; talking and listening to lots of different people with lots of experiences and stories and faces over a long period of time. And the listening, exploring, working things out does make a difference, does make things better (often), as the artists’ statement above says… not just for the ‘faces’ – the individuals involved, but also for the ‘stories’ – the issues and concerns and social challenges that people live with and through. Working together creatively, listening to each other, leads in quiet ways to a different world.