The Blacktown Native Institution culminated in a Corroboree

On Saturday 7 November 2015, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) collaborated with Blacktown Arts Centre and UrbanGrowth NSW to host a community Corroboree on one of Australia’s most important historical sites – the Blacktown Native Institution – and unveiled a series of site-responsive artworks.

Images © BNI Project 2015

This third and last collaborative on-site event was the culmination of a year-long project, building upon the two Blacktown Native Institution Artist Camps which took place in November 2014 and March 2015. Over two days of culture, healing and sharing, these events offered an iterative and interlinked series of discussions, art-making workshops and storytelling sessions.

Artists Darren Bell, Karla Dickens, Steven Russell, Kristine Stewart, and Leanne Tobin came together with the community, local artists, academics and historians towards three intended outcomes: the creation of a website as a keeping place for personal stories about the site, creative direction for future permanent usage of the site, and the creation of new temporary public artworks which were unveiled at the Corroboree.

Karla Dickens, Never Forgotten, 2015


Krista Pav and band


The local community participated in free family activities, including storytelling, live music, traditional food and a BBQ, children’s workshops, a beautiful ‘tear catcher ceremony’ by Leanne Tobin, as well as performances by pioneering hip-hop artist Brothablack, who previously worked with the Blacktown Arts Centre through the Urban Theatre Projects collaboration Back Home (Sydney Festival 2006 and Canadian Tour 2007), Blues & Roots singer Krista Pav and Band, who has developed language research through the Blacktown Arts Centre Performing Arts Program, plus storytelling around the campfire with much-loved elder and storyteller Uncle Wes Marne.

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