create

Connecting culture, customs and countries

The Colourise Festival fosters an Australian Indigenous voice that promotes creativity, or rather, 'CreActivity'. The festival connects culture, customs, countries, people, society and law of an ancient sovereign land. No Walls' Mia Finley spoke with Dr Christine Peacock about the festival.

The Colourise Festival is an Indigenous media-art event where participants can enjoy face and body painting and head and arm-band making.

Media-art screenings and sound “touch the community’s sense of remembrance and survival, strengthening an ethical sovereign resolve”.

“I don’t tie myself down to roles, or titles. Everybody is creative – it’s just something you do; particularly in our culture,” says Peacock.

Festival director Christine Peacock, as a descendant of Erub in the Torres Strait Islands, has been engaged in an extensive and varied collection of collaborative creActive works for more than 30 years, stemming from the organic processes of Indigenous customs.

An exploration and exposition of her personal history and community, political and social experience, intimately ties together Peacock’s work.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Colourise Festival, 2015

After having left school at fifteen, Peacock successfully pursued a career in theatre that spanned from Sydney to the United Kingdom, a pathway that inspired her academic and scholastic thinking.  She has completed higher degree research at QUT Creative Industries, specifically a research Masters followed by a PhD.

The findings of her studies derived from her experience of the creActive processes of community media-art production, are the basis of the Colourise Festival.

“I don’t tie myself down to roles, or titles. Everybody is creative – it’s just something you do; particularly in our culture,” says Peacock.

From this notion came Peacock’s idea of “creActive” – a word to better describe the cultural context for her creative practices, meaning to be “active across your community, and with the issues that are most important to people and progressing society”.

“Drawing from the archival collection keeps our creativity connected to the past, in the present, for the future…”

Peacock researched the European meaning of “creative” and juxtaposed it with her own perception of the word, which she has developed across her academic theses. These were titled eARTh: The Dynamics of Ontological Representation and A PhD Journey in the Decolonial Era, shaped by the experience of the Colourise Festival media-art event in 2013.

Using hand-held projectors, participants of the festival walk are able to cast images from the Uniikup Optical Media Collection of community-produced videos, short films and jpg images, thereby visually re-creating – or rather, “creActing” – a “re-dreaming of the land through Indigenous eyes”; thus presencing Indigenous people on Indigenous land.

“Drawing from the archival collection keeps our creativity connected to the past, in the present, for the future; revealing the continuum, and correcting the false idea that, ‘Oh, we only belong to the past’, or that we have no future,” says Peacock.

Peacock spoke honestly about the challenges of practicing Indigenous interpretations and constructions of creActivity and art in a cultural environment dominated by European influences. In response, a project like the Colourise Festival gives a visual “presence” to Indigenous people and land and to our shared history in contemporary society.

colourisefest_2016_img1

The Colourise Festival, 2015

“We work against the sort of concepts that Europeans have held about Indigenous people for many, many centuries, and use that in the processes of creating projects,” says Peacock.

The customs that are inherited within creActivity are literally projected through The Colourise Festival, honouring “the significance of the Indigenous presence in the face of coloniality”.