Art with the Stars is an initiative to gauge and strengthen the cultural wellbeing of Shooting Stars participants, in line with our overall goal of enhancing Aboriginal girls' sense of identity, education and employment outcomes. Shooting Stars engages local Aboriginal artists to collaborate with participants on a creative project over ten weeks.
How does Art with the Stars work?
Aboriginal artists (local where possible) are invited, and paid, to work with participants, teaching them skills and developing an artwork or performance together. Participants and the artist work together on the subject, but it will speak to the topic of understanding the participant’s cultural, Aboriginal and local identities. By providing Shooting Stars participants access to Aboriginal artists, we not only teach them a skill, but rather provide them with a space and a means to connect with themselves, their communities, and their country. By participating in art making, participants will reflect on the land and the people to which they belong and thus build a sense of pride in their cultural identity. At the same time, they will forge strong connections with their family and their peers.
Once complete, the participants’ artwork will then be exhibited locally and digitally across a range of platforms, inclusive of social media and websites as connection and sharing resources via digital platforms has been found to have positive mental health outcomes for ATSI youth (Walker et al. 2021). After being shared at a local level, there are possibilities for the work(s) to be exhibited at a regional, state and interstate level. By exhibiting the artworks/performances, we can share a slice of Aboriginal culture whilst providing a platform for our girls to shine. “My family got to see [my artwork] they said great job for doing painting... I'm proud about the snake because my nana passed away and that’s her totem. We always find a snake at our house and we always think about her.” - Lizzie, AWTS Participant
Participants will engage in yarning circles both before and following the completion and/or exhibition of their work where they discuss the art-making process and how their piece explores their cultural, Aboriginal, and local identities. Embedded within the Yarning with the Stars project methodology (Whitau and Ockerby 2019), which has been operating successfully since 2016, the evaluation component of the Art with the Stars project will provide a case study for how organisations and governments can measure cultural indicators of wellbeing.
Completed Art with the Stars projects
Fitzroy Crossing Fashion Project
Completed in 2022
Artists: Louis Hazel & Simone Argius Our Fitzroy Crossing girls created a stunning collection of hand-made garments that were presented via a community runway show. The project was done in collaboration with Earthed Foundation and Fitzroy Valley District High School.
Halls Creek Painting Project
Completed in 2022
Artist: Kathy Long The Halls Creek girls completed their second painting project that captured their connection to family, community and culture. The finished works were showcased at the end of year awards night.