July 15


Aunty Faith Aldridge and Megan Bottari with work by Vernon Ah Kee

Helen and Laurie Nilsen

Anni and Megan work by Laurie Nilsen

Lois and Richard with work by Laurie Nilsen

Bernadette and Richard with work by Gordon Hookey

It seemed to take an eternity to get from Canberra to Bega for the opening of proppaNOW’s Existence Resistance. Laurie Nilsen and Richard Bell had flown in from Brisbane Friday arvo and headed straight for the motel in Merrimbulah, dropped their bags and made a mad dash for the gallery courtesy of Salvatore Bottari’s (Sammy) skilful driving through dense high country fog. Fortunately there was a bunch of friendly faces and a glass of wine or three waiting at the Bega Regional. Yuin elder, the very lovely Aunty Faith did the welcome to country  and CCAS Director David Broker opened the exhibition saying that there was no need get antsy about the relentless the proppaNOW piss take …. just lie back and enjoy it. In fact he went on to say that through activist groups like Campfire and proppaNOW he had come to see Australia through different eyes … and was all the better off for it. Gallery curator Megan Bottari certainly knows how to give people a good time and the guests ended up at the Wyndham Wagtail restaurant next to the general store where chef Pete cooked up a storm while Laurie showed us how to make a rabbit out of a tea towel that Anni had commandeered from the kitchen. And that was just the beginning of a perfect weekend in Wyndam. David Broker stayed in the old jail (cell) while Laurie and Richard gave up comfy rooms at the Black Dolphin Motel for a wild night in the Wyndham Courthouse. Of course the rich layers of irony were not lost on either … proppaNOW are Vernon Ah Kee, Tony Albert, Megan Cope, Richard Bell, Jennifer Herd, Gordon Hookey and Laurie Nilsen. Existence Resistance now at The Bega Regional Gallery until the end of August.

more fab pics

Lee Cruse, Laurie Nilsen, Uncle Ossie Cruse and Richard Bell at The Jigamy Community Centre

Richard Bell

Megan and Anni at Wyndham (slice of heaven NSW style)