Creations of Light and Dark

Wandjina groupWandjina

20150612_172658TwilightFire Wandjina<img src="https://lightravellerkate.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/20150612_172319.jpg?w=300" alt="Wandjina" width="300" height="225" class=Wandjina at Dusk“alignnone size-medium wp-image-854” />Wandjina, Dark MofoI have been looking forward to Dark Mofo for some time now, and write about it in a previous post “Celebration of Darkness”. I like the idea of acknowledging the role of dark in life and creation, because throughout history, from the time of the Biblical God saying “Let there be Light” , all things nasty have been wrongly associated with the dark. I recall reading Malcolm X’s biography in which he is made aware of all the negative connotations of the word black. And so it seems to still be today. But you cannot have light without the necessary dark, and maybe its the dark which contains a mysterious power and goodness. I’m waxing lyrical here of course, but the celebration of dark in Hobart’s midwinter festival does give pause for thought.
The Dark Mofo festival was opened by a Welcome to Country at the Royal Botanic Gardens. I went on a beautiful Friday evening to see the Wandjina creations come to life in the dark.
Wandjinas are creator spirits sacred to the people of the Kimberly. They represent the ancestors who created the sacred law of these peoples. As such, they have all powerful huge eyes but no mouths. Only indigenous artists have the moral and sacred right to depict these fascinating beings. I was given a book on the Wandjinas as a young girl and at a time when extraterrestrials were all the rage in films of the time like H.G. Wells “War of the Worlds” and “Them”, I believed such all seeing silent creatures must come from outer space! I’m trying to remember who gave me such a fascinating book as a seven year old. Not my mother, whose tastes were traditional, perhaps my father, whose tastes were eclectic, perhaps it was my darling Aunty Mac, a generous and loving soul. In any case I loved the book because it was difficult for a seven year old to read and therefore fascinating.Ever since I have always felt a fascination for these silent ancient creator spirits. The outdoor exhibition of the Wandjina in the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens are stunning . At twilight they appear one way, but when the sun sets on a beautiful Hobart evening, they come alive, radiating music, stories and colour connected to different elements. They invite observers to become participants in the stories they share. Its a place I will be returning to over the period of Dark Mofo to experience their power.
As I was slowly moving down the long driveway to my home, I saw a baby bandicoot in my headlights. I stopped to admire it, appreciating that many beautiful creatures only come alive in the dark.

5 thoughts on “Creations of Light and Dark

  1. Recently at 3:30 morning I got up and looked outside to find an owl flying making noise, that is one creature that comes alive at dark, it was quite a fascinating movement for me(:

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    1. Lucky you Maria! I love owls, Boobooks are my favourites. I saw a great tufted owl in Canada who looked straight at me. It was at a particular stage of my journey there and the message he gave me was clear. What did you make of your encounter? On 24/06/2015 2:55 AM, “lightravellerkate” wrote:

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  2. it was a surprise… because I have never seen a owl…this one was flying and making noise… I was waiting at my flat waiting for a van to pick me up for doing some trekking, it was at 4:35 morning… I never expected owls to be there at flat…a place that is inside no outdoor or unusual stuff… I do find a eagle or two around, huge they are, perched on flat opposite mine… but not that often…we generally are doing something or lazing about to take note of these things happening out

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