From the turtle of the Yorta Yorta to a whale’s battle of survival; the vibrant world of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island art came to life last night as staff and community members wandered through the corridors of the Tarnbuk Centre, transporting them to land rich of vibrant life and culture; deep seas, central deserts and birds in flight were among the many stories told through the language of art.
Hosted by Peninsula Health Allied and Aboriginal Manager Kunal Mahajan and Peninsula Health Elder and Cultural Lead Aunty Helen, the Tarnbuk Centre was transformed into an intimate exhibition, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in art purchased through The Torch — an initiative that provides art, cultural and arts industry support to Indigenous offenders and ex-offenders in Victoria through its Indigenous Arts in Prison and Community program.
“Personally, I feel The Torch initiative serves as a beacon of hope, shining light on the potential for redemption and renewal. By providing incarcerated Aboriginal individuals with the opportunity to explore their heritage, express their stories, and connect with their roots through art and culture, The Torch offers a vital pathway to healing and self-discovery”, says Kunal Mahajan.
“Artistic expression plays an essential role within Indigenous communities, serving to preserve culture while also healing individuals, strengthening community bonds, educating newcomers, asserting unique identities, celebrating heritage and contributing to positive transformation in both local societies as well as society at large,” adds Kunal.