Northern Projects Lockhart River, Message Stick, ABC TV


Monday 22 October 2007, 6 pm ABC1
Cape ExpectationsMessage Stick travels to the small Cape York community of Lockhart River which is fast making its mark on the international art scene. But not only is the community becoming well known for its art but it is also looking at other cultural exports that could give the community greater financial independence.
ADEN RIDGEWAY: Hello, and welcome to Message Stick, I’m Aden Ridgeway. The community of Lockhart River in Cape York is enjoying a new burst of life on the sometimes tough and tricky international art circuit. From small roots as an adult education program over a decade ago, the scheme has inspired stunning works that continue to reach all corners of the globe, with exhibitions in South Korea, Italy, and more recently, New York. What makes this creative movement different, is that it was started by teenage artists. But now, the Lockhart Art Gang have picked up some new recruits from the older side of town. Message Stick producer, Jeremy Geia, travelled to this coastal community, to see the positive changes art has inspired both at home and abroad. This is Lockhart River, a place of legend and stories. It’s a magical location, where the Dreamtime has etched itself into this world in the most amazing fashion.DENISE FRUIT: When I’ve got paint on my brush, I just paint. It’s amazing. So magic, when you do it. It’s a special place for me. Where I just think about the beautiful landscape up in Lockhart.WOMAN: They paint about traditional spirits, they’re just mainly people today, and how life is in Lockhart and everywhere.NARRATOR: The community is situated close to 800km north of Cairns, in Far North Queensland. It’s home to five clan groups, and at certain times in the year, can host up to more than 800 people. It’s home to the Lockhart River Art Gang, a mob whose numbers have swelled recently, albeit from an unlikely source.DENISE FRUIT: My name is Denise Fruit. I’m from Weipa. I live in L