A day teeming with ideas, conversation, art … and rain

It rained all day today, and while it required a change of venue for some of the LINES workshops, it didn’t inhibit the imparting and sharing of skills. The weaving circle described the reclamation of traditional indigenous techniques through the involvement of LINES artist-in-residence Anaheke Matua, and made them accessible to all of the participants. It was empowering, to start with a reed and create string – which had amazing strength and versatility – and most promised to return tomorrow, to master their basket-making lesson.

Kite-making with Tony Rice was fun and resulted in functional flying objects for all. His experience and depth of historical understanding made for fascinating discussions. The display of his sculpture, all constructed from plastics and debris collected by the beach, especially his male and female life-size objects, took materials out of context and into inventive new places.

And the art on the headland grew – notably Caitlyn Halsall’s installation, that expands organically each day to delineate the contours of the headland, highlight the verticality of the nearby Pandanus, and speaks to the pop-ish discourse encouraged by the Australian seaside – albeit often borrowed from elsewhere.

She has already influenced some viewers. Jasper Baker, aged 8, has installed his ephemeral artwork on the site of Luke Kidd’s installation in Moongalba Reserve (with permission from Luke). And there was more – Craig Tapp’s Ochre and Sand Workshop, Pat Zuber’s printmaking, and nature blowing a treat and proving its power as an awe-inspiring backdrop. This big day out at the LINES festival finished on a high note, with the Arts & Environment Forum. It was addressed by Auntie Evelyn Delaney, who told her family’s story and related the journey of Quandamooka Native Title since it was granted in late 2011, Dr Wade Hadwen on human impact on perched lakes on Fraser Island, and finally with Fiona Foley’s presentation of her work and its uncompromising ambition to reveal the truths of indigenous dispossession in Australia, particularly Queensland. The relationships between these three talks defines the breadth and ambition of the festival – and its depths. It was a compelling finish to the first day of the festival proper.

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