Artists in Residence reflect on their work in NT

18 April 2012

Nadia Wheatley and Ken Searle

Education and Social Work Artists in Residence Nadia Wheatley and Ken Searle have developed a series of workshops and lectures to illustrate the Indigenous principles of education they experienced in their five-year consultancy to the school in the Northern Territory Aboriginal community of Papunya.

Faculty alumni, colleagues and friends are invited to the specialty events, which commence on May 2 with the first instalment of a two-part workshop: "Making and Telling Circle Stories".

Based on the Papunya model of education, the workshop will equip participants with a new way of viewing their place in the area where they grew up (their 'country'), and the community in which they live. While the techniques used can be rewarding in classroom environments, the workshops are essentially a window into a way of thinking and being.

"What is a picture book" will be the explored in an evening lecture, open to the public, on May 15. Since their first collaboration nearly 20 years ago – which resulted in the Children's Book Council of Australia Honour Book Lucy in the Leap Year – Wheatley and Searle have become one of the most awarded partnerships in Australian publishing history. This lecture offers participants a way to increase their understanding of the picture-book artform, whether they are teachers, parents or readers.

A second evening event, on August 8, will provide insight into the creative process used by both artists: Searle says he 'walks into ' the places he paints; Wheatley is similarly inspired by a sense of the landscape for her works. Both use their explorations of the real world as a doorway to their imaginations. Pictures and stories will provide context for this unique conversation with Robyn Ewing, the Faculty of Education and Social Work's Professor of Education and the Arts.

The following month, September, Wheatley and Searle, who are both Honoraries with the Faculty of Education and Social Work will be available to staff, students and alumni for one-on-one consultations about writing (non-fiction, fiction for adults and children, picture books) and visual arts (painting, picture-book illustration, book design) respectively. These rare opportunities will be made available through a selection process based on submitted samples of work.

Contact: Helen Loughlin, Alumni & Events Officer

Phone: 02 9351 2791

Email: 3f0c081d197d59243702111d0300273f482d5e3c4c1b5c0801561b04