In July 2010, the arts centre was opened in Kalkaringi, Northern Territory, using some of the more than $100,000 raised from sales of From Little Things Big Things Grow. The centre (images in the link below) has been named Karungkarni, which roughly translates to ‘children dreaming’. Kalkaringi is approx 500km southwest of Katherine and home of the Gurindji people.
Peter Hudson, the artist who worked with the children to create their paintings for the book (and whose own work appears alongside theirs) revisited Kalkaringi recently with his brother Stephen, also an artist, to help get the centre off the ground. The first paintings have been sold, and the artists were kept busy preparing for an influx of visitors for Freedom Day in August.
We (the various partners involved in this book and project) are merely providing guidance and material support now, as the centre is entirely community-run.
We are keen to establish a permanent resource of illustrated books on Aboriginal art and culture, which the artists will use for reference and inspiration. If you’ve got any links with publishers that might be interested in donating books to this inspirational cause, or you’d like to know more, please contact martin(at)affirmpress.com.au.
From Little Things Big Things Grow
‘Gather round people, let me tell you a story.
An eight-year-long story of power and pride...'
The iconic song by Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody, our national anthem of hope and optimism, is now also a wonderful children's book illustrated by Gurindji schoolchildren and featuring evocative landscape paintings by artist Peter Hudson.
The song recounts the story of when Vincent Lingiari and other Gurindji workers walked off the Wave Hill cattle station in 1966. What began as a strike over wages and conditions became an eight-year long struggle for the return of traditional lands, which pre-dates Mabo. It ended in August 1975 when Prime Minister Gough Whitlam symbolically poured sand into old Vincent's hand.
Thanks to everyone who has supported this wonderful project and/or bought the book.
Praise for From Little Things Big Things Grow
'This is a book of huge symbolic importance.' Mungo MacCallum, The Monthly
About the project
From Little Things Big Things Grow is a co-publication by One Day Hill and Affirm Press, and all proceeds are being funnelled back to the community through Ian Thorpe's Fountain for Youth to provide art and cultural facilities for Gurindji youth.
In 2008, the group behind the book From Little Things Big Things Grow (artist Peter Hudson, co-publishers Bernadette Walters and Martin Hughes, publicist Shirley Hardy-Rix and children's book consultant Claire Jennings) visited Gurindji country in the Northern Territory. We wanted to get permission from elders to do the book, organise the children's paintings, and speak to the community about the best way to spend the hoped-for profits.
We were looked after especially well by Jimmy Wavehill and Gus George, both former stockmen who were part of the original walk-off. They took us to many significant sites including Wave Hill Station, Wattie Creek, the spot where Gough Whitlam symbolically poured the sand through Vincent Lingiari's hand, and the Gurindji most sacred site, Seal Gorge, including to see ancient cave paintings we were asked not to photograph. Thanks again to Jimmy and Gus and the many Gurindji who welcomed us.
Have a look at the beautiful books that have so far been donated to the Karung Karni arts centre by clicking here.
Images of the new art centre in Kalkaringi are here.