‘Is it the laughter of your children? Your tears? What is home and when is now? What are the most critical stories you have to share now?’ (Tammi Gissell, Snailbox provocateur).
You might not hear Snailbox coming… we’re slowing things down and making space to reflect on recovery, resilience, and challenges to these notions.
Three First Nations artists have designed a postcard (Richie Allan), stamp (Sarah Loynes) and a written provocation (Tammi Gissell) to start us off. Six more artists will write and exchange letters and postcards through April and May.
By using the reflective and private space of the personal letter, artists have time to dwell in the lingering, low-fi states associated with recovery and resilience that have great impact yet can be hard to talk about: pensiveness, apprehension, acceptance and boredom.
Sarah Loynes is a Gamilaroi Yularoi person currently living and studying on Ngunnawal Ngambri land. They are currently studying archaeology and anthropology at the Australian National University and work with younger members of the community at the Tjabal Indigenous Higher Education Centre. Inspired by familial ties and the community and Country in which they now reside, Sarah’s work is centred on facilitating and expressing the importance of those relationships through cultural weaving techniques.
Tammi Gissell is a performer, choreographer, teacher, adjudicator, published poetess and performance theorist. Since 1996, she has toured remotely, regionally, nationally and internationally in a range of performance genres. She is currently overseeing the relocation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection of materials from the Museum of Applied Sciences to its new home in the Parramatta Powerhouse whilst working on a new commission, Mundaguddah, for Canberra International Music (premiered in May 2021) and working as an independent compliance consultant and assessor for EttingshausensPro Fulltime Dance courses, Sydney.
Richie Allan is a Ngunnawal Kamilaroi custodian who was born in Ngunnawal Country and raised on both Ngunnawal and Kamilaroi Country. Richie is Cultural Director of Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, where he manages cultural awareness, education and Ngunnawal relationships. He is also our Ngunnawal expert and provides valuable advice to organisations on culture and creating safe workplaces for Aboriginal people to thrive in. Richie is a highly respected Cultural man with decades of experience. He is on Cultural Boards including, ACT Ministerial Creative Council, ACT Tourism Leadership Committee, and the ACT Chief Police Officer Indigenous Advisory Board.
Snail Image by Denise Thwaites