ACT News


Tales from communities' past flow freely in One River

Flying foxes and community-created cloaks are just some of the many pieces of art featured at the One River exhibition this weekend.

One River executive producer Lindy Allen said curating the event had been a wonderful experience. ''We ended up with 10 projects that bristled with amazing stories. There were just layers and layers of tales from these wonderful communities.''

A Centenary of Canberra event, One River is an art project that examines the connection between 10 communities linked through the Murray-Darling Basin.

Joanne Sutton, an artist from Augathella on the banks of the Warrego River, worked with students and the local community to discover forgotten stories.

Sutton said the most enjoyable experience of the project was seeing the reactions of the community at her installation in Augathella.

''The community thought it was wonderful. They told me it reminded them of days past where people from the town would get together and share a yarn,'' she said.


Her installation consists of hundreds of postcards featuring pictures of the town, both current and historical, and the stories she collected are scattered throughout the exhibit.

One of the stories is from 92-year-old Augathella resident Jim Johnstone, who told Sutton of a time in Augathella when there were only two ways to cross the Warrego River.

''Back then, there were no nearby bridges across the river,'' she said. ''People from the town had two choices: a flying fox or an oarsman who worked from 9am until 5pm. Mr Johnstone told us of townspeople attempting to cross the river but getting stuck halfway and having to jump out.''

■ One River will be on show at the Belconnen Arts Centre on Saturday and Sunday. The centre opens at 10am and a showcase of live performances from some of the artists will occur from 4pm to 8pm on Saturday.