Feel The Creative Summer Vibes

Inject some creative inspiration into your summer holidays. Hear artist stories about our coastline or treat the kids to a fun science and art journey. Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery is aiming to keep families busy these holidays, inspired by their summer exhibition, The White Bluff Project

Project’s Secret Sauce Revealed

The show is attracting visitors of all ages keen to discover the art, science and changing environment of this unique place. This month you can take a virtual trip to White Bluff to hear from four of the project’s collaborators. A series of short video stories will be released online over the next month.

The first features artists Ray Rixon and Sarah Mufford. They reveal collaboration was the ‘secret sauce’ to this four-year project they’ve led with a team of 19 local artists and scientists. For this week’s video story, Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung artist Tori Donnelly shares how art helps us to connect with place, and how place inspires her work.

“In this area here, there are lots of beginnings or endings of dreaming stories,” says Tori. 

Science and Stories

She found the science of the land and seascape resonated with Gumbaynggirr stories. Tori explains finding connection in her art practice and with the land work well together.

“You’re taking something that you’re inspired by, you’re internalising it and then creating something out of it.”

In a modern interpretation of White Bluff’s history, Tori worked with artist Sarah Mufford and poet Chris Armstrong. They created a poetry diptych for the exhibition. Manggaarla is a map of site stories. Words are drawn from Gumbaynggirr legends and language, early settler accounts and phrasing from scientists. It even features stencilling once used to label the area’s iconic banana boxes.

Creative Summer Coffs

Connecting to Country

“It would be great if people seeing the exhibition can take in the process of what we’ve tried to interpret and turn into art,” Tori says. “They can go out there to connect to country themselves.”

When visiting the exhibition these holidays, children also have the chance to become mini artists and scientists at new Exploration Stations. Budding scientists can record their discoveries in a journal of activities. Young artists can create drawings on postcards and enter the Summer Vibes exhibition. Experience the Exploration Stations from December 18 at the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, Museum and Libraries in Coffs Harbour, Toormina and Woolgoolga.

The summer vibe continues at a family cultural event at South Park Beach Reserve on Saturday January 22. It will celebrate a new Jellyfish public sculpture and slide. There will be a Welcome to Gumbaynggirr Country then children can play on the Jellyfish. They can join in on Storytime and get creative with art workshops by TAFE and the Regional Gallery.

Watch the White Bluff video stories on the gallery’s Facebook or Instagram.