WARLAYIRTI ARTISTS - REFLECTION ON TOR'S PROJECT

During the month of July Warlayirti Artists' warmly welcomed back Tor Lindstrand as part of International Art Spaces spaced 3: north by southeast Project.  It was the second time that the Swedish artist and architect visited Balgo to work with the local artists on the collaborative cultural exchange.

A trip to ‘Old Balgo’ was the catalyst for the choice of theme for the collaboration. One hot day 2 art centre Toyota Troop carriers, filled with artists and Elders, took the 20km trip out bush, along desert tracks lined with scratching spinifex, to where the old mission once stood.  Now a cluster of crumbling rocks and burnt tin, the old mission is a place of poignant memories for generations that grew up there. It quickly became clear the project was to be one about shelter.

Back at the art centre, the stories flowed in a response to the work growing on the walls; photographs, both old and new, detailed architectural drawings annotated with real life experiences from people who grew up there, ochre and rocks gathered from the site and used in the construction of buildings. People painted in response to this experience, the story of Old Balgo and the life they once knew there. '