Echoes: ASSI 150 SEQ
Guest blogger: Bronwyn Davies - Coordinator Cultural Services, Scenic Rim Regional Council.
Make sure you see The Echoes exhibition at The Centre Beaudesert, open 23 August until 26 October 2013.
Echoes opened on Friday 23rd August at the Centre Beaudesert. The opening night crowd included Auntie Bonita Mabo, Chief Richard Fandanumata Paramount Chief of Vanuatu, representatives of the Mununjali Elders Council, representatives from Tweed Australian South Seas Island community, Vanuatu Australian South Sea Islanders, Yugambeh Museum, the Beaudesert Historical Society, Beaudesert and District Community Arts Project, descendants of the Walker Family (original plantation owners) and the Paton Family (missionaries to Tanna) as well as current and long term landowners.
The exhibition team lead by exhibitions curator Irene Girsch-Danby had worked for over 12 months to put together what is a cross between a contemporary art exhibition and an interactive museum or library exhibition. A call out went out last year for artists to respond to the Australian South Sea Islander 150 year commemorations and in particular to respond to the arrival of the first indentured labourers just outside of Beaudesert at the Townsvale cotton plantation.
There are first hand accounts of plantation life that have been contributed by descendants of the plantation owners, a letter to Sir Samuel Griffith from his descendant David Denborough. There is a display that highlights the history of the district, the rise and fall of Townsvale and the development of Beaudesert as the regions centre.
Its a fascinating and dense exhibition that takes you on a journey to uncover and explore a long forgotten and little acknowledged history.