ENGAGEMENT – ORGANISATIONS WITH PAID STAFF
Logan Art Gallery, Logan City Council
He kākano āhau (I am a seed)
The City of Logan is home to over 315,000 people from more than 215 different cultural groups. In initiating and planning this project, Logan Art Gallery was specifically seeking to engage with the local Māori community, the largest non-European community in Logan.
He kākano āhau (I am a seed) showcased contemporary Māori arts and culture at Logan Art Gallery in late 2018. It comprised an exhibition of artworks by local Māori artists; a large collaborative artwork made by Logan’s community under the guidance of artists; and complementary public programs including a cultural family fun day. He kākano āhau was the result of an extensive period of planning and consultation with local Māori community groups as well as Australian and New Zealand First Nation Elders. It formed part of a long-term strategy to highlight and celebrate the various cultural influences that richly contribute to Logan’s diverse community and to foster closer relationships between the Gallery and these cultural groups.
A major aim of this project was to build an exhibition development model, which allowed greater accessibility and ownership for diverse cultural communities. A new structure based on collaboration needed to be developed. Gallery staff saw themselves as facilitators, and not decision makers. Direction was to come from the community, and a meeting was set up where a Project Coordinator of Māori ancestry was nominated by the artists and Elders in attendance. The Coordinator was contracted by the Gallery to provide a liaison between the artists, the Māori community and the Gallery; to provide cultural advice; and to mentor the Māori artists.
The exhibition and this new, collaborative engagement model built for the project has played an integral role in how the Gallery engages with communities, reaches new audiences and fosters opportunities for inter-cultural exchange.
This project was supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). RADF is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Logan City Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.
Banner image: 2019 GAMAA trophies created by Queensland artist Lucy Quinn. Photo: Andrea Higgins, courtesy of M&G QLD.