Why do we live where we live? How do we grasp the invisible connections between people, groups and ideas?
Lee Grant and Amadis Lacheta tackle this subject in their exhibition, Untold Eurobodalla, which opens to the public on Saturday, 12 December, at the Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre (The BAS) in Moruya.
The exhibition coincides with the first anniversary of the Black Summer bushfires and is a celebration of the variety of ways people make a cultural contribution to our community, and their diversity and resilience, particularly in this year of disruption.
The stories of Untold Eurobodalla are told through photography, film and the written word. Already, large paste-ups have appeared around Moruya, Narooma and Batemans Bay and Lee says they have already had a lovely response.
Lee is a photographer and Amadis is a writer, and when they surveyed people from Eurobodalla some key themes emerged – of community, family, contribution and concern for the environment.
“We wanted to pick people who were representative of the broader shire,” says Lee. “The shire is diverse, but that is often less obvious. It is very much about community, and not politics.
“It has shown me how regional towns are microcosms of the same issues and concerns that go on in bigger cities.”
Amadis works in the community sector and asks: what does it take for a healthy community to thrive?
“Robust regional communities are diverse, creative and responsive to change,” she says. “The people living in them are multifaceted and often have numerous talents and means of expressing those gifts that make them interesting on a personal and collective level.”
Lee says the project is “a love letter to this place, and curiosity to find out more about it.”
The exhibition comprises a series of 25 framed portraits accompanied by a catalogue, as well as 1000 postcards of places in Eurobodalla, and a 75-minute video montage of all the sitters, interviews and responses to a series of questions.
“As the exhibition is so ephemeral [around six weeks] a website will be launched in February to capture the project as an ongoing record, and for people who couldn’t attend,” says Lee. “It’s an opportunity for the community to take a look at themselves.”
Due to COVID-19, the official opening is ticketed and already booked out. However, there will be an artist talk on Saturday, 12 December, at 11 am.
As part of the Untold Eurobodalla exhibition program, The BAS will be running a series of creative activities and events for all ages.
The Untold Eurobodalla exhibition will run until 7 February, 2021. Its opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm.
The Untold Eurobodalla website will launch in February 2021.