The One Love, One Family exhibition showcases the outcomes of the Barngarla: Stories of Resilience project that involved Barngarla people from Port Augusta, in particular the Dare family, in an innovative project that used the processes of narrative therapy and art making for individual and community healing.
Nexus Arts and the Dulwich Centre Foundation developed the initial project concept combining narrative therapy and art making. Professor Ghil’ad Zuckerman from the University of Adelaide facilitated the introduction between Nexus Arts and the Barngarla
people of Port Augusta and through consultation with the community the project was developed. This is a pilot project and the Barngarla people have guided every step, helping to mould the delivery of this project as well as establishing a project framework for future communities.
Throughout the two stages of the project the elder siblings found comfort in each other’s previously untold stories of growing up removed from their family members and culture, and how they longed to reconnect with their lost siblings and parents. The intergenerational nature of the project provided an opportunity for younger generations to hear the stories of their elders and both understand their struggle and the hardships they have overcome as well as recognising the resilience and strength they have shown.
The outcomes of individual and community healing have well and truly exceeded our expectations. It has been an honour to witness a family beginning to heal and reconnect. The family recognises what they have overcome but testament to their wonderful characters they are free of anger and resentment and are focused on moving forward for the benefit of the younger generations of Barngarla.
It is with great generosity that the Barngarla people have decided to share their stories so that other communities can acknowledge the long lasting affects of being separated from culture and family and appreciate the strength of those who have risen above such hardship for the sake of their families and communities.
I would like to sincerely thank all of the community who welcomed Tim and myself into this precious space and allowed us to hear the stories and witness the healing at an individual and family level. It is an experience I will never forget and I can’t wait to see other communities be transformed through this process.
Executive Director of Nexus Arts
‘I’ve learnt more stories about my family being taken away and what they went through. I thought I was the only one suffering, but they suffered as well. It was good to be with them and draw closer I believe to the family.’
‘We just get stubborn with one another you know, when you argue and that. Doing this art together, it’s really great, we’re all getting together and doing what we’re supposed to be doing – sharing and caring.’
‘Yeah, again I’ve really enjoyed it. This is the first time I’m doing a story. Also going there and sitting down with family, having fun sitting down and sharing stories.’
‘Well, I’ve enjoyed the workshops, looking at the elders; learning about their stories and explaining what happened to their stories, about their lifetime through their stories. And through their paintings, it’s really great to hear things we never heard back then you know. This is a chance to come together and share each other’s stories with one another, yeah. I’ve really enjoyed it.’
‘Some of the paintings they’ve done over there, I knew a little bit about it from them telling me word of mouth, like my two grand mothers. For them to put it down on the painting, is, I don’t know... more touching, because I didn’t know that they lived life like that. It was good to see.’
'Because of my sisters death I haven't really painted and coming here now I want to go home and get on with it, that's more or less what's she's telling me to do.'
'With the workshops I saw more happiness with my family, especially looking at my Aunties and they put their family down, their brothers and sisters. Seeing them smiling and talking about the stories because I know for a fact my two Aunties have never done a painting before in their lives and that would have been the first time ever. It's nice to see some of the others that have never done paintings sitting down and talking to them and asking them about their paintings and they're sitting down telling us the story to it. The communication, the laughter, the happiness that I can see coming out of them and they were enjoying it and coming all the time. It was great healing for them.'