A collection of unique indigenous art is on display at Curtin’s Resources and Chemistry Precinct as part of the 2009 International Year of Astronomy celebrations.
More than 30 artists from Yamaji Art in Geraldton created pieces for the exhibition, entitled Ilgarijiri – things belonging to the sky, as a joint venture with Curtin’s Radio Astronomy group.
Professor of Radio Astronomy Steven Tingay said the exhibition titled Ilgarijiri (things belonging to the sky), began with a cultural exchange between artists and astronomers.
‘One of the major aspects of the 2009 International Year of Astronomy project is getting different groups of people to work together,’ he said.
‘So our collaboration with the Yamaji Art group began with a camp where astronomers and indigenous artists sat around a campfire and discussed their different perspectives on constellations and stars,’
‘It was very interesting because it was a kind of connection between the modern, and the ancient.’
Professor Tingay said the exhibition was a chance for people to learn more about both indigenous art, and astronomical developments happening in WA.
Currently, Australia along with South Africa has been short-listed as a potential location for the most advanced radio telescope to date—the Square Kilometre Array.
If built in Australia, the radio telescope will be located 300 kilometres north-east of Geraldton.
Professor Tingay, who has been working the SKA prototype for ten years, said he was hopeful the telescope will be built on Australian soil.
‘It would be a great advantage for us to have the SKA in our backyard,’ he said.
The Ilgarijiri exhibition opened September 16 will run until the end of October.
You can view a video of Professor Steve Tingay and artists from the Yamaji Arts, Indigenous art under the stars from the The West Australian newspaper’s website.