Reflecting on the Our City Our Culture 2008-2018 Cultural Plan for Redlands…
Memorably, I visited the tiny library at the back of the Point Lookout hall 10 years ago with my small baby to find butchers paper and fat marker pens on a table beckoning responses to questions about arts, culture and community. My opinion was being sort!
The consultative process for the Redland CIty Council Our City Our Culture 2008-2018 was second to none.
Life long friendships were developed and extraordinary collaborations enabled.
On the strength of that consultative process I curated public art in the University of Queensland’s Moreton Bay Research Station (showcasing Quandamooka woman Belinda Close’s work), I built festivals, as multi media artist I collaborated with island people from the sciences and education to rangers, and attracted Arts Queensland, Australia Council for the Arts, philanthropic monies and artists from around the country to the Redlands.
This cultural policy legitimated my earlier arts and cultural practice of several decades spanning Australia and Europe. I was inspired. It was chaperone and I witness to native title determinations on the island in 2011 and the emergence of the Quandamooka Festival, 2015.
The phenomena of ‘artists in residencies’ was mentioned in this document. I made artists’ residencies the seeding and back ground of my work on Minjerriba (North Stradbroke ISland) 2009-2014, in particular with the Lines in the Sand ephemeral arts Festivals.
We respected ‘indigenous protocols and practices’ of caring for Country and embedded it into the fibre of our organisation concerned.
‘Enterprise’ (another noun from the policy) was activated during the Lines in the Sand Festivals with Craig Tapp’s Mulung Art and sand ochre art launching in 2011.
This same year Lines in the Sand ran an event Quandamooka Celebrating and Sharing Culture which gave rise to a renaissance of traditional reed harvesting and weaving on the island and ensuing gallery exhibitions and workshops.
Having laid early ground work in events concerned with culture, country and community, Lines in the Sand deferred to the inaugural Quandamooka Festival in 2015.
The Mudlines artists’ residencies on the Southern Moreton Bay islands are legacy of Lines in the Sand as is Migaloo Press with exhibition proposals current at the Redland Gallery.
Linesinthesand.com.au is a highly credible archive of this ongoing process; curating dynamic and responsive art making committed to local ecology and social change on the small islands of Moreton Bay. This website is a meaty asset to the Redlands filled with film, galleries, resources and interviews laden with meaning. We created stories of local significance relevant to global audiences and are recognised in the global ephemeral or nature art movement. In 2013 we received good practice recognition from Creative Partnerships Australia and with endorsement from dozens of island businesses effected the typically quiet winter tourism market on the island.
Much of this work is included in scholarly writing by way of my most recent research work with QUT and at international Small Islands of the World Conference in 2017.
I can only hope that the next RCC cultural policy lends itself to inspiring a new generation of artists and cultural workers, seeding and nourishing ideas and building ecologies of creative possibility across its diverse geographic and cultural scapes.
Jo-Anne Fay Duncan