Sydney Yumi Olgeta: Crafting a More Inclusive Democracy Workshop
Artist Helen Fraser and Councilor Emelda Davis with her gift from Vanuatu of a tradition woven mat.
It was a great pleasure to run the third Yumi Olgeta: Crafting a More Inclusive Democracy workshop at Green Square Library, Zetland in Sydney on Saturday 19th August, 2023. As part of the weeklong recognition week in the lead up to Australian South Sea Islander Recognition Day on August 25th, the workshop focused on the history of blackbirding; the kidnapping, coercion and trading of pacific islanders to work in the NSW whaling and pastoral industries. Scottish entrepreneur Benjamin Boyd was the first to bring 65 men to NSW to his enterprises in Eden NSW during 1847. Participants were provided with nine new motifs created in response to this history and our second quilt project - a quilt for the City of Sydney about the NSW history - was launched. We aim to complete this second quilt by 2025-26.
My collaborator Councilor Emelda Davis attended with her daughter Binette Diop and they spoke candidly about this history and its impact of their families and descendants today. They also spoke about the Seasonal Workers Scheme and the importance of ensuring the rights of workers are protected. They bought along three traditional weavings in addition to one above, which we commissioned in 2020. They are created by the Napen Napen Custom Women of Port Vila, Vanuatu. We were able to lay out the the weavings on top of the front of our first quilt which gave a sense of how the finished quilt will look. It was inspiring to see what we have all been working to achieve over the last four years. This first quilt will be donated to the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra in August 2024.
Special thanks to the City of Sydney for providing such a stunning venue and for funding the event. We would love you to join our second quilt project.
Hume Exceloo Project Launches in November 2023
I'm so excited to announce that my painting Under One Sky was selected to be placed onto an Exceloo Amenity Unit at Tulsa Reserve in Goonawarra, Sunbury as part of a new Hume City Council Project in 2023. Feedback from Landscape Designer Gavin Menzies was taken into account with site allocation (there are 5 sites) to ensure my design matches the landscape features at the location.
The project is planned for completion in November 2023. The Amenity Unit has been constructed and the artwork will then be added.
Recent Panel discussion hosted by The Art Hunter at Fortyfive Downstairs Gallery
As part of Marco Luccio's current exhibition Cuorosensa: A Reverse Archaeology at Fortyfive Downstairs Gallery in Flinders Lane Melbourne I was part of panel discussing the positive impact of art on our lives.
The event was hosted by the incredible David Hunt, otherwise known as The Art Hunter. Panelists included Marco Luccio - Artist, Guy Grossi - Chef, Neil Stonnel - Architect, Dr Ian Summers - Emergency Physician and Helen Fraser - Artist, Psychologist and Psychotherapist.
It was a pleasure to talk about how art has transformed and healed me and give examples to inspire the audience to start or keep creating.
Follow Marco Luccio Artist at www.marcoluccio.com.au
Photo credit Robert Wagner Photography
Interview on Joy 94.9FM Sunday Arts Magazine
It was such a joy to be interviewed by David Hunt (The Art Hunter) and Eve Gilbert on the Sunday Arts Magazine. They were very warm presenters and put me at ease quickly. We discussed why I became an artist, the first signs this was what I was destined to do, the relationship between my role and artist and psychologist, the Under One Sky show and the role of art in healing. They also promoted my Artist Talk on 3rd June held at the Town Hall Broadmeadows Gallery. I recommend following their Sunday program at https://joy.org.au/sundayarts
Australian South Sea Islander Commemorative Quilt No 1
We are still accepting embroidered and appliqued motifs for the Commemorative Quilt that will be donated to the Museum of Australian Democracy in 2023. They can be posted to Helen Fraser Artist, P O Box 36, Gisborne 3437. Thank you to all participants in the first project by the Yumi Olgeta: Crafting a More Inclusive Democracy collaboration.
We are currently working to finalise the first quilt.in collaboration with Australian South Sea Islanders Port Jackson. It will include three traditional weavings by the Napen Napen Cultural Women of Port Vila, Vanuatu, 40 embroidered conch shells for the border and at least 63 motifs for the centrepiece. This is the first quilt project in the world to focus on Australia's Slave Trade history of blackbirding.
It has been a great honour to work closely with Waskam Emelda Davis and the Board of the Australian South Sea Islanders, Port Jackson in Sydney as well as the creative team of the Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House, Canberra. Special thanks to the City of Sydney for their ongoing support of our collaboration and first project.
Instagram Page Hacked!On 20th January 2022 my Instagram page @helenfraserartist was hacked. Unfortunately I have not been able to get it pulled down and it remains as @helenfraserartist_. If you are following this account I recommend reporting the hackers to Instagram and unfollowing the page.
I also recommend putting two-factor authentication on all of your social media accounts as added protection. I am already aware of two followers who have also been hacked from my old account, so please be wary. I regret any inconvenience caused to those impacted by this experience. My new Instagram account is @helenfraser_artist.