Sep 182015
flower stall, utrecht

flower stall, utrecht

i have been very slack since we left the netherlands – probably due to the move to a greek island and my propensity for lying in the sun doing nothing! – so this is a catch up post on our second week in apledoorn.

the highlight to the week was porbably a visit to the aboriginal art museum in utrecht (AAMU), to see the exhibition, de kracht van hout – the power of wood. the museum has a very impressive collection of bark paintings and carvings from north east arnhem land. various smaller galleries and museums had collections of aboriginal art but with budget cutbacks a decision was made to consolidate the collections in utrecht.

the collection was very strong in works from our area and also around mangingrida and outside of the really large and important collections like the british museum, would be one of the best in europe. they also have a collection of yidaki that formed part of this exhibition and michiel had leant them quite a number of very significant pieces from his personal collection for the exhibition.

so we had a couple of hours with the guide, who was certainly passionate and knowledgable about the art and I was able to make a few contributions to the presentation with some specific knowledge about certain pieces. this was followed by michiel presenting a talk about the yidaki and give some great information about the instruments to the interested group. (mainly students of his.)

after this blast of culture we then retired to the comfort of a nearby belgian beer house for lunch before wandering around the very beautiful city of utrecht.

the week finished off with a couple of great meals, a traditional saturday night at michiel and boke’s which is savoury and sweet pancakes and on our last night, coq au vin – which michiel cooked up as consolation for our failure to make it to france this trip!

sad goodbyes were said before we headed off to the airport to fly to athens – somewhat tempered by the knowledge that we will all catch up in january when they come to stay with us again!

Apr 202014

nyinyikay  010

friday saw me headed off to nyinyikay, a small homeland on the tip of arnhem bay, i was joining lirrwi tourism in supporting a film crew shooting some reality TV rubbish involving 6 young city things being taken out of the surburban comfort zone and being confronted with challenges to their personal stereotypes. its all pretty voyeuristic and exploitive, but they wanted to shoot an episode in arnhem land, hence we were driving 5 vehicles, 2 towing trailers, in torrential, tropical rain, 4 hours from nhulun to nyinyikay.

we had to cater for 15 crew as well as the cast of 6, so its a lot of resources, tents, stretcher beds, bedding, food and drinks for 21 people for 4 days over easter. given that it had been raining for the last 3 days solid, we were not sure whether we would even be able to get out to nyinyikay , nor whether the cast & crew would be able to fly in on saturday morning.

as it turned out the rain did stop on saturday so we were able to get all the tents set up in time and we had the catering set up on the verandah of the house we were staying in so we had shelter if it rained again. the whole entourage, with thousands of kilos of camera and sound gear, flew in on about 5 seperate small charter flights from gove airport.

between looking after the clients, we were able to get some good fishing in, i think we ended up with about 5 barra that were keepers, half a dozen each of blue salmon, mangrove jack and golden snapper.

all of the families of the nyinyikay community were fantastic with sharing their culture and land with the visiting mob, and its certainly a good example of the potential for cultural tourism in the region and the benefits it can bring to small communities seeking sustainable economic models.

i dont know what the TV show is called even, so i cant tell you to watch out for it anyway, which is just as well because i think the cringe factor will be high.