For arts practitioner and Bourke-local Andrew Hull, tying himself to one art medium or even taking on a small project is not in his nature. Big and all-encompassing seems to be his flavour and his decision to step forward and launch Bourke Shires history and the stories of its people into the national spotlight is one such venture.
Part of â€˜One Riverâ€™, a multi-state and territory arts project in 2013 that focused on communities throughout the Murray-Darling Basin and the stories they had to offer about their river systems, Andrew took on the job of recording and commemorating the stories of Bourke Shire residents and their history with the local rivers through his own individual project Notes On A River.
Celebrating the stories of the Darling and her surrounding river systems Andrew said when the information came through about the One River project and its role in the Canberra Centenary celebrations he saw it as an opportunity that he could not turn down and one that would highlight Bourke and all it has to offer.
â€œMy work has a long relationship to the river so when I saw this project come up and called One River I said â€˜well thatâ€™s just got my name all over it!â€™â€
â€œBeing a Bourke boy the Darling River is such a monstrous, enormous, all pervasive, all encompassing core of my existence and for all the people in Bourke and thatâ€™s why this project is so importantâ€¦.the river is just so central to our lives.â€
A central part of Andrewâ€™s life he says that the project included all communities across the Bourke Shire and not just the township and the Darling River itself.
â€œThe â€˜community of Bourkeâ€™ it isnâ€™t just Bourke the town. It doesnâ€™t just include the Darling River. It incorporates Wanaaring and Fords Bridge, Enngonia and all the properties in between, and the Paroo , Warreggo and Calgoa River and I wanted to represent all of these communities (so) what Iâ€™ll be doing is going out to those communities, and into Bourke itself, and facilitating some storytelling.â€
Even with vast distances and widespread communities to cover Andrew doesnâ€™t seem to worry and instead seems to relish the challenge and the opportunity. He is excited to involve as many communities as possible and is passionate about sharing the stories of the people within the Bourke Shire.
â€œThe project was a real opportunity for the community to get engaged in an artistic practice. Lots of people were involved so it wasnâ€™t just artists working and putting something up on show for everyone else to look at. That sort of project meant that people were physically engaged in it; they were writing the stories themselves, created the lanterns themselves, and had a big community event where we put them in the water and stood back and looked at it together. I saw it as being a facilitator that can get more and more people involved in the arts.â€
Already crossing a range of platforms in his own arts practice Andrew says that simply concentrating on one medium is uninteresting to him and he finds it more interesting not to hinder his creativity to one set of the arts.
â€œâ€¦everything is interesting to me. I donâ€™t see any point in concentrating on one thing (medium) in fact itâ€™s the opposite for me. I like to have a go at sculpture; I like to work with my hands. Itâ€™s a creative wellspring and whatever medium I can find to work with Iâ€™ll do. It doesnâ€™t really matter what medium it is itâ€™s about sharing ideas and communicating.â€
For more information you can contact Andrew on 0427 919 964 or firstname.lastname@example.org