Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Origin of Origins

The smoking ceremony.  Photo: Nick Moran
Origins 2013 got off to an amazing start on Wednesday night, with the Bargehouse packed to bursting for an Aboriginal Australian smoking ceremony, a Samoan ava ceremony, and performances from Suara Indonesia Dance, Baila Peru and Indigie Femme.  With a fantastic indigenous buffet by our partner restaurant Mestizo, there was a great sense of conviviality!

Suara Indonesian Dance.  Photo: Nick Moran
The ava ceremony is a Samoan welcome, in which honoured guests are called and offered the powerful, slightly numbing, cup of ava.  Our guests included Fiona Foley, Tasha and Elena from Indigie Femme, Victoria Hunt, Michael Greyeyes, Coll Thrush and Gabe Hughes.  Gabe is the first Rhodes Scholar from the First Nations of Canada - and she responded to the ava with a traditional honour song.  All in all, a remarkable night, which sent Twitter ecstatic!

Thursday saw us back at Bargehouse for the opening of the EcoCentrix exhibition.  Helen Gilbert has brought together some truly amazing works of art, which on the first night included a live art piece by Victoria Hunt!  Highlights are The Edward Curtis Project images by our old friend Rita Leistner, and an amazing installation of red dresses, highlighting the disappearances of First Nations women in North America.  Four floors of riches....
Copper Promises.  Photo: Heidrun Lohr
Last night, Copper Promises opened at The Place.  It's only on for two shows, so by the time you read this, it may be over, but if it isn't - go.  It's beautiful beyond belief: intense, spiritual, concentrated, and full of technical wizardry.  At the post-show talk, Victoria talked about the process by which she made the piece - opening herself to influences and possibilities, rather than imposing herself on the material.  And the fact that the piece is being shown in the UK gave it added power - as Hinemihi, the Maori meeting house at the centre of the tale, now sits in the grounds of a Surrey country house....

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