The Fabric of Our Culture opens

THE Wake Up Time women of Casino have celebrated the opening of their Sydney collaborative exhibition, Fabric of our Culture, and found themselves starring in a short documentary film about the making of their silk art.

The Wake Up Time women are a group of Indigenous artists from Casino and The Buttery who have been meeting weekly for the last eight years to practise their art and travelling the region to share their stories with other community groups.

Since January they have been participating in an artisan initiative managed by Arts Northern Rivers' Indigenous Arts Development Officer Robert Appo, with expert input from local fashion and textile consultant, Wendy Powitt.

The program was designed to mentor the eight artists through the processes of preparing for a Sydney- based exhibition, including selecting product lines, finishing to professional standards, pricing their work and taking it to market.

This all came to fruition last week with the opening of the Fabric of our Culture exhibition at at Boomalli Aboriginal Arts Gallery in Sydney on Saturday July 2. The show continues at Boomalli until July 29.

When ABC Open North Coast producer Catherine Marciniak heard about the project, she decided it would be an ideal opportunity for her to get ABC Open involved.

‘When I heard how the Wake Up Time women in Casino were using natural materials for both the patterns and colours of their fabrics I thought it was the perfect opportunity to teach some keen video makers how to make a mini doc for ABC Open's Whadyaknow,’ she said.

ABC Open is an initiative that helps regional communities to share their experiences via websites, radio and TV. Their Whadyaknow series invites individuals and groups to share what they can do or what they know with the rest of the world.

For this video, Catherine invited a group of ten novice filmmakers to donate their time to making a short documentary the Wake Up Time women could use to promote their art.

The video is now owned jointly by the Wake Up Time women, and the documentary makers.

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