Winner: $10K Graham F. Smith Foundation Arts Grant
On Friday 23 October, 2015, community arts organisation Alphaville in partnership with Yalata Community was announced as the 2015 winning recipient of the Graham F. Smith Peace Foundation’s $10,000 annual arts grant. The Peace Foundation was founded in 1989 and aims to promote peace through the creative arts with a focus on human rights, social justice and environmental sustainability.
The announcement was made at the Peace foundation’s yearly dinner at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, presented by His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AO, Governor of South Australia.
The 2015 winning project is an international sculpture gifting proposed for Nagasaki Peace Park with partners Mayors for Peace (Australia), South Australia’s Yalata Anangu community, and arts company Alphaville, . It is inspired as a contribution to the peace-related activities taking place in Nagasaki during the 70-year commemoration of the atomic bombings in Japan.
Nagasaki Peace Park is an internationally renown sculpture park frequented by thousands of visitors annually, featuring gifted artworks from around the world that convey messages of peace and friendship to Nagasaki City. To date there is no Australian presence.
The proposed indigenous-inspired sculpture design is linked with an existing community arts sculpture project being run with remote indigenous communities in South Australia whose recent history relates to the British nuclear tests of the 1950s at Maralinga. The contribution is in the final stage of approval with Nagasaki Peace Park, with the official gifting and unveiling anticipated for March 2016 (pending confirmation).
Alphaville Creative Producer Paul Brown and Yalata Sculpture Group representative Steven Harrison attended the Peace Foundation dinner to accept the award. Steve shared a moving speech about the origins of the Nagasaki sculpture proposal, and how the stories of the indigenous experience of nuclear testing underpin the project, and how the project brings recognition to affected communities. Paul also spoke about the way the project would take the story to international audiences. It links to a tradition of arts projects that expose the legacy of Australia’s experience of nuclear testing, and explore history and implications of the impacts on indigenous people, nuclear veterans, and the wider community. He explained “the Australian contribution will convey a timely message of peace to Japan’s atomic survivor communities, and represents the passing of a call for hope and peace across generations and across borders, sent as an internationally relevant message of peace from Australia to Japan.”
The proposed sculpture gifting initiative is supported by Yalata Community Council, the Maralinga Tjarutja Council, City of Fremantle as lead city for Mayors for Peace (Australia) and network, Nuclear Futures program (Alphaville), and with financial assistance from the Australia Council for the Arts.
The sculpture gifting project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, as part of the three-year international arts and cultural program, Nuclear Futures, exposing the legacies of the atomic age through the creative arts. Nuclear Futures is led by Sydney-production company Alphaville.
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Background images from the project: