Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service (WAMS), in the Northern outback of NSW, recently secured funding through the 2016 Country Arts Support Program (CASP) for a series of childrenâ€™s lantern and fire sculpture workshops.
The CASP funds were used to engage Philip Relf, artistic directorÂ IKARA Celebratory Events, to travel to Walgett and deliver the workshops.Â Â IKARAÂ is a site specific theatre company that specialises in working with communities, both big and small, to devise, make and celebrate what is important to them.
Philip started working with the Walgett community in late 2015, delivering a hands- on â€œHow To Makeâ€ lantern workshop to a number of WAMS staff and a group of students from St Josephâ€™s Primary School.Â The WAMS participants from this first workshop will now take their newly minted skills into the classrooms of other local primary schools, to assist with the next round of workshops when Philip returns in April.
The upcoming workshops have been set for Wednesday 13th of April, and the lanterns and fire sculptures created will be used at the public launch of the Respect Project, and to celebrate 30 years of WAMS later this year.Â The IKARA website notes that â€œfor a community to make and parade lanterns that they have made themselves, is an empowering experience for both the participants and onlookers alikeâ€.Â The community of Walgett is certainly well on its way to creating a unique celebration of their local identity and culture.
The Country Arts Support Program is a devolved funding program administered by Regional Arts NSW and Outback ArtsÂ on behalf of the NSW Government.