In February 2014 Aboriginal composer and musician William Barton visited Charlottesville for several special performances. William Barton is Aboriginal man from Mount Isa in northwestern Queensland, Australia. For over twenty years he has practiced as a performer of the extended technique of the didjeridu. Barton has toured internationally since age fifteen as a soloist and in collaboration with traditional dance groups, fusion rock and jazz bands, orchestras, string quartets and mixed ensembles.
First Barton performed two of his compositions, as well as a composition by William Grant Still, with the Charlottesville High School Orchestra String Ensemble led by Laura Mulligan Thomas, at U.Va.’s Culbreth Theatre for audience of over 300 people. He also performed in collaboration with the U.Va. McIntire String Quartet as a speaker at TEDxUVA and for the Aussie Bush Banquet, a benefit dinner for the Kluge-Ruhe Collection.
A film of the concert with CHSO was made and will be available to view in March 2014.
David Bosun: Ngau Gidthal (My Stories) in USAIn September 2013 the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia (U.Va.) hosted artist David Bosun (Mualgal), a printmaker and woodcarver from Moa Island in the Torres Strait.
The highlight of Bosun’s residency was the creation of a traditional ceremonial pole, which was carved over three weeks in collaboration with sculpture students in the McIntire Department of Art. Several weeks before Bosun’s arrival in Charlottesville, Virginia, a pecan tree measured to be over 200 years old had to be cut down, and it was from this wood that the sculpture was made. The tree was purportedly planted by Thomas Jefferson, who owned the property during his lifetime. In addition to this project and the exhibition of his work at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection, Bosun discussed the breadth of his sculpture and print practice in an artist talk, and guest-lectured at a number of university courses in the disciplines of printmaking, dance, anthropology, art history, linguistics, and astronomy. Before a crowd of over 200 people in the museum’s scenic back lawn, Bosun also performed a traditional Mualgal dance, painted up in costume, to his people’s sacred music.
The residency was documented by a film crew led by local director Chris Farina, filmmaker of the recent success World Peace…and other 4th grade achievements. This documentary will be available to view in the spring of 2014.
Kluge-Ruhe Mural Timelapse from Kluge-Ruhe Collection on Vimeo.
In 2013 the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection presented a program of Indigenous films at the Virginia Film Festival supported by a grant from UVa Arts Council. Artist Sam Welty created this mural on the Community Chalkboard in Charlottesville, Virginia to promote the screenings of Satellite Boy and Uvanga. Thanks to the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, the magic of Welty’s artistry was captured by this time lapse video.