Exploring Toolangi Forest

Artist Talk and Public discussion

The Indigenous Australians told me not only how children need land, but also how land needs children, to hear their voices and their laughter in order to know that it is not abandoned.

(Griffiths, 2013)

A public event that welcomed children and carers from the Abbotsford Early Learning Centre in conversation with Creative Producer and participating artist Karena Goldfinch and President of Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum, Steve Meacher.

The children engaged in a deep exploration of endangered species of Toolangi Forest through stories, songs, science, poetry, music and sculpture. Their work was influenced by several indigenous artists as well as artworks exploring the natural world.

The children were encouraged to think in positive and creative ways to help promote and care for the environment.

The Abbotsford Early Learning Centre’s connection with Toolangi Forest was forged in 2015 when all the children advocated for the endangered Leadbeater’s Possum and sent a letter to Parliament, stating their concern and offering solutions to this extinction crisis. The letter was read out in Parliament, resulting in a huge exhibition and fundraising for the forest.

Each generation of children inherits this knowledge and extends it further through immersive creative art experiences and activism.

Every child brings wishes for the animals’ survival through creating with hands and poetry. A breath of life into clay brings the creatures into existence saying ‘look what we have in our forests’.

This experience offered the children an opportunity to take a stand for the forest and its creatures in an ever-changing world environment in which preservation is urgent.

When: 5 November 2022, from 1pm.

Where: CLIMARTE Gallery, 120 Bridge Road, Richmond

See FOREST: The Last Stand Exhibition details here.