REMEMBERING THE EMPTY COOLAMONS
The coolamon is a vessel used throughout Australia by Aboriginal men and women to collect fruit, nuts and grain. Often etched with intricate and culturally significant markings, coolamons are used to cradle newborn babies. In this context, the coolamon, empty of baby, stands in witness to the trans-generational pain of loss suffered by the Stolen Generations of Australia.
A live art piece with Yamatji artist Robyne Latham, you are invited to create a clay coolamon that will be hand-decorated and placed within a sacred circle. This sacred circle will then remain in place as a silent reminder of the coolamons that laid empty throughout the years.
About Robyne Latham
Robyne Latham is a Yamatji woman originally from Western Australia. An academic and fine artist, Robyne has lived and worked in Melbourne for some 30 years. She holds a Master of Fine Art from Monash University, a Diploma of Education from Edith Cowan University and a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) from Curtin University.
Robyne’s work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, Deakin University, La Trobe University, the Koorie Heritage Trust museum, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, John Curtin Gallery and the Berndt Museum at the University of Western Australia. Robyne’s works span the media of ceramics, sculpture, public-art installation, performance, painting and theatre-set design. Her artworks have won a number of awards, including Shepparton Art Museum’s Indigenous Ceramic Art Award (Victoria section; 2014), Dr Ross Ingram Memorial Prize (2012) and Manningham Victorian Ceramic Art Award (2013).
Robyne performs Monday and Tuesday, and discusses her work Wednesday.