threads the bind exhbition by the Warrnambool Textile Group (Ros Barwell, Kaori De Guchi, laurene dietrich, Monique Pope, Rachel Watt). The exhbition is open until January 26th at Backspace, Huyghue House, Alfred Deakin Place, Ballarat. I (Erin) had the honoured to be asked to open this exhbtion. Here's my opening address, with pics after.
'Today we meet on Waddawurung country. On behalf of everyone here I pay my respects to the elders past and present who have been custodians for thousands of years.
I am a visitor, now friend in this country, no idea of wearing out my welcome! As such I can do an acknowledgement of country, not a welcome.
A traditional welcome, unlike the ones we hear today, were affairs that went for days. The visitors arrived and were welcomed, then the women gathered to discuss women's business, and the men gathered to discuss men's business. Then they would come back together, hunt and cook together then share a meal together.
Only then the ceremonies would begin, corrobees, jumbas, dancing, singing, sharing with each other around the fire. Each element with a message, each with their own story. Sites of significance were shown, where stories about the spirit of this land were shared. The elders believed that once this was done, often over the course of days, the strangers then were friends. These new friends now had the spirit of the land in their hearts and would take care if it, love it and care for it as if it were their own home country.