15 May–31 July 2017
Fisher Library F03; Level 2, Exhibition Space, University of Sydney
Learning from Country from ‘The Papunya School Book of Country and History’ to ‘Australians All’
Learning from Country is an exhibition of original artwork and materials showcasing the journey behind a series of multi-award-winning books produced by Nadia Wheatley and Ken Searle.
Published over the course of a decade by independent Australian publisher, Allen & Unwin, these innovative books celebrate a way of learning that puts Country at the centre.
This exhibition showcases the journey behind the production of these books — a journey that began when Nadia Wheatley and Ken Searle worked as consultants at the school at Papunya (Northern Territory), and were introduced to the Indigenous principle of Learning from Country that is at the core of the Papunya School Book of Country and History and the picture book memoir When I was Little, Like You, by Papunya Elder Mary Malbunka. In Walking with the Seasons in Kakadu the same principle is explored in a different Aboriginal country.
Later work that Nadia and Ken have done with students in Sydney shows that this way of learning is just as effective when the ‘country’ is the city and students’ families come from homelands scattered across the world. This was exemplified in Going Bush, in which art and writing by culturally diverse urban children is showcased.
In Playground, over a hundred Aboriginal Elders and young people from across the continent pass on their wisdom, while in Australians All Nadia and Ken present stories of young people growing up in our nation, from the Ice Age to the Apology.
While educationalists will be inspired by this exhibition to try out this holistic model for themselves, the display of text and original artwork (in draft and final form) will fascinate anyone who has ever wondered how words and images get onto the page of a picture book.
Finally, of course, Learning from Country will delight its core audience: the young Australians to whom these beautiful books belong.
LEARNING FROM COUNTRY: EDUCATION FROM COUNTRY
Thursday 25 May | 6–7:30pm
Nadia Wheatley and Ken Searle will discuss an inspirational way of learning in conversation with Professor Robyn Ewing AM, Sydney School of Education and Social Work.
Complimentary but booking is essential – to register, please go to: Education from Country event booking page
LEARNING FROM COUNTRY: THE ART OF THE BOOK
Wednesday 7 June | 6–7:30pm
Nadia Wheatley and Ken Searle in conversation with their Allen & Unwin publisher, Erica Wagner, discussing how books are made.
Complimentary but booking is essential – to register, please go to The Art of the Book event booking page
Learning from Country – guided walks
Nadia Wheatley and ken Searle will guide you through the exhibition.
Guided Walk 1: Tuesday 23 May | 5–6pm
Guided Walk 2: Saturday 3 June | 3–4pm
Guided Walk 3: Thursday 15 June | 5–6pm booked out
Guided Walk 4: Thursday 22 June | 5–6pm
Places are limited, please click on your preferred date to register.
Books showcased in this exhibition:
* Papunya School Book of Country and History, by staff and students Papunya School,
in association with Nadia Wheatley and Ken Searle
* When I was Little, Like You, by Mary Malbunka
* Walking with the Seasons in Kakadu, by Diane Lucas and Ken Searle
* Going Bush, by Nadia Wheatley and Ken Searle, in association with students from inner-Sydney schools
* Playground — Stories from Country and from Inside the Heart, compiled by Nadia Wheatley and illustrated by Ken Searle. Indigenous consultant Dr Jackie Huggins
* Australians All, Growing Up in Australia from the Ice Age to the Apology, by Nadia Wheatley and Ken Searle