Artist: Big Hart

At the turn of the 20th century, the first language the Aranda people heard when they walked out of the desert was not English, rather it was German. One such Indigenous man was the famous Australian artist Albert Namatjira. Namatjira encountered white people at the turn of the century as a two year old on a German Lutheran Mission in Central Australia. He died just over fifty years ago in 1959. In his life time we can see the raw wound of the culture clash between indigenous and non-indigenous people in Australia with a new clarity. Namatjira was a household name, one of the first indigenous people to be granted citizenship, the face of the country and yet died a broken man, after being wrongfully imprisoned. His life is the subject of a new ambitious Big hART project and performance piece. The story is told with the help of his family, who are themselves highly accomplished artists.

Namatjira is Big hART's latest work and has taken the Australian theatre world by storm. Premiering in Sydney's renowned Belvoir Street Theatre, it has recently been nominated for 8 Sydney Theatre Critic's awards for everything from best direction, best script to best actor and best lighting. Yet this performance piece had humble beginnings, in a small community in central Australia, and has high aspirations in its desire to influence public policy in the nations capitol.

The workshop and presentation at ICAF
This workshop examines a Big hART project that is fully operational and "punching above its weight." We will show scenes from the production and rushes from a documentary being made about the project.

It will discuss the ways in which the project is hoping to drive economic change for Indigenous artists, through aligning internationally touring performance pieces with Indigenous arts centres to generate stronger income as a proof of concept for better support for Indigenous artists and creative communities



Friday 1 April 15.30