Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Busy few weeks for Community Arts

Phew...we've had a few very busy and fantastic weeks of art here on Norfolk Island. Read all about it...

On Saturday evening 28th August the Parish Centre was a hive of activity.  There were eight teams for the Quiz Night and right from the start Brent Hattersley – the Quiz Master – had everyone primed up for the evening.  There was great rivalry between the tables as the results of each round of questions was put up on the scoreboard.  Some of the questions were quite challenging and you could see lots of whispering and shaking and nodding of heads as the team captains wrote down the answers.  No-one was allowed to fall asleep as the rounds of Heads and Tails kept everyone jumping up and down!  Tony Wilkinson’s presentation of the questions and answers with the data projector was great.

Just your average table
Our MC Brent hard at work
 Wilson’s Wallies were the winners for the evening and team captain Errol Wilson came forward to receive the prize.  Trevor Menadue from the “Raining Champs” team accepted  2nd prize on behalf of his team and the Wooden Spoon  plus vouchers for Wikepedia went to Tony Janssen and the  Fighting Vikings. 

A total of $1100.00 was raised during the evening and will be added to the Festival fund. The next Pacific Arts Festival is to be held in Honiara the year after next. Community Arts thanks everyone who helped to make the night such a success. 
A few red hatters at a table
Flax Weaving Worshops
Another bustling scene of activity the next day Sunday 29th was Don and Maree’s studio at Bumboras as participants gathered together for the first of the flax weaving workshops with Ali Brown.  Ali, accompanied by her husband Bob, had arrived from Christchurch the previous day.  Ali had always had a passion for weaving which lead her to become fascinated with the prominence of flax in the lives of the Maori people.  Part of Ali’s workshop was explaining the protocol to be observed in New Zealand when gathering and working with flax.  This was a great introduction to the workshop.  Those of us who were absolute beginners found Ali’s instructions reasonably easy to follow and it was great to return home at the end of the day with something to “show”.  Sunday evening Ali and Bob were “welcomed” to Norfolk with a pot luck dinner.
Ali Brown - our visiting flax weaving teacher

During the week Ali spent time in the class room with Years 5 and 6, and with Years 7 and 8.  Ali found the students interested and enthusiastic – they loved the wristbands and rings they made.  Community Arts was pleased to sponsor Ali’s visit to the school. From all accounts the dyeing workshop was magical.  In just three minutes a freshly cut piece of flax was transformed into a vibrantly coloured piece of silky-looking leather.  No-one had tried dyeing fresh flax before and didn't realise how easy it was.  Lots of ideas for the forthcoming show perhaps!

Early on the morning of their return home one of their sons texted Ali and Bob to alert them to the earthquake in Christchurch and to reassure them that their family members were safe and their homes in tact.  Community Arts has had further contact with Ali and two of their sons are now living with them as they are without power and water.  Ali said she was unable to return to work on Monday as the central business district was closed.
Raewyn completing her bag
All the bags in a row!
It was great to meet Ali and Bob – it would’ve been especially rewarding for Wayne, Raewyn and Lesley Jenkins to finally meet Ali as Ali’s book on flax weaving has become a well-thumbed reference. If you’d like a copy, Ali’s book is available at the Golden Orb.  Many thanks to Troy and the Inn Group for accommodating Ali and Bob at  “Viewrest”.