Our COVID-19 Arts Response
Wayapawarr Watnanda Marangee is our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We invite everyone to engage their hands and hearts, and be part of creating a giant tapestry of woven circles to show our resilience, feel empowered and bring about personal transformation in this time of insecurity and anxiety.
Wayapawarr Watnanda Marangee means 'we all come together in a meeting', in Gunditjmara language. Although we cannot come together physically, our project joins community members across all ages, genders and abilities who find themselves in self-isolation, via an online platform. The project invites people to learn a traditional weaving technique, weave circular 'meeting places' and decorate public spaces with your woven creations.
These personal public exhibitions may include a collage or installation hanging off a gum tree along your daily walk, attached to a lamp post on the way to the shops, or at a bench in the park where you feed the ducks; At the cafe where you would normally meet with friends. Stuck to the window overlooking the street or off the apple tree in the front yard of those home-bound; Off apartment balconies or in the parking lot. Get creative and have fun! Share your art on social media.
Dwelling in public spaces, the woven 'meeting places' will spark curiosity among fellow community members, invoke inspiration and foster connection. Over time and space hundreds of woven 'meeting places' will pop up in a community—or thousands across the state, or tens of thousands across the country, or millions across the world—and form a network of connections. Everyone will realise we are all connected because we have all come together in a meeting. Wayapawarr Watnanda Marangee.
Wayapawarr Watnanda Marangee is the COVID-19 antidote, representing Resilience, Empowerment and Transformation. Resilience because the ancient knowledge that is embodied in traditional weaving connects us to Spirit and the Ancestors, and gives us the strength to find positive ways forward; Empowerment because the process of contributing to a community artwork provides for interpersonal connection, confidence and control over our own lives; Transformation because we will rebirth into our new selves in a new and better world we have humbly contributed to with our own positive actions and intentions.
Eventually, everyone's woven circles will be physically joined together to form a huge woven tapestry of 'meeting places'. The tapestry will commemorate those who we've lost and the new connections we've made.
We truly hope this positive project will go viral and bring joy & hope to you all!
Aunty Bronwyn & Katja