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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Hossack

An Arts Society lecture: Recording the Dreamtime by Rebecca Hossack

Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. I had been asked by The Arts Society (formerly NADFAS) – as part of their imaginative Lockdown outreach programme – to make a short film about Aboriginal Art based on some of the pictures in my collection.

As I pondered how best to approach the project, I became horribly aware that almost every building in our street was having construction work done on it. The sound of power-tools and jack-hammers was incessant. It was going to be a challenge to record anything. After several days spent waiting for it to ease up, and with the deadline rapidly approaching, I realised that we would just have to get on with it – and seize the occasional moments of quiet.

My first thought had been to try and tell the history of the Aboriginal painting movement through ten pictures in my collection. But – once we started filming (with Nikki expertly wielding the iPhone camera) – I found myself carried away by the art.

It is so easy to take the pictures hanging on your own walls for granted. They become familiar, and merely decorative. It was wonderful to have the chance to look at them afresh, to engage with them in a new way. They evoked new emotions, they revived old memories – of the artists who had made them, and who had come to stay with me in London – and they suggested new connections.

The half-hour filming-time flew by, and we had not even covered half of the originally intended pictures. So – if you enjoy the attached film – there is plenty of scope for a sequel….

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