As we were waiting for our students to return to the physical classroom, we looked for something joyful that would build our understanding of indigenous culture and would align with what is special about our school. We are a place of ceremony: of ceremony within our faith, ceremony in the structures of our day and our interactions and ceremony as the girls sit together in circles sharing story during social breaks. So I wish to take this time to introduce you to a new member of our community -our indigenous artwork that is now taking pride of place in the foyer, Women’s Ceremony by Khatija Possum.
Khatija Possum is the third generation of painters in her family. Her grandfather was the famous Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, renowned for being one of the founding artists of the contemporary indigenous art movement. Khatija carries on the iconography of her grandfather and her mother but with stronger colour and the addition of womens’ ceremonial stories and other women’s dreamings. It is a process that highlights the importance of art in keeping culture alive as stories are passed on from one generation to the next. Some of our Visual Arts students will be connecting with Khatija to learn more about the meaning behind this work.
As we launch into a new stage of the history of MSJ we celebrate a special school that has been a place of ceremonies for 60 years. We look forward to what we can learn from our indigenous brothers and sisters as we grow together as a school and a country, passing on richer stories of journey and connection.