Pastiche Magazine

Edition 7 Front Page

The Saltwater Story

A salty tale that inspires a new generation…

Award-winning Gold Coast author, Benjamin Allmon and Bundjalung-Yugambeh canoe maker, Kyle Slabb have collaborated with renowned photographer David Kelly and former ABC producer and filmmaker Jeff Licence to document their epic 70km three-day sea journey that follows an ancient First Nations maritime trade route in traditional canoes. This treacherous sea voyage has connected the Goories or Saltwater People across the water from the Gold Coast to North Stradbroke Island for thousands of years.


The Saltwater Story documents Benjamin’s passage into a piece of First Nations culture that is rarely offered to someone outside of the Bundjalung/Yugambeh people. This voyage with Kyle and his family has resulted in a stunning documentary, a beautiful coffee table book, and an exhibition that launched in May at HOTA, Home of the Arts on the Gold Coast.


The inclusion of a unique group of young Bundjalung, Yugambeh and Quandamooka men in this project provides viewers with a rare insight into a rite of passage for the next generation. The result is a story of connection, collaboration and cooperation – not just between the Bundjalung-Yugambeh people and the Quandamooka people, but between generations, between black and white, between land, sky and sea. It is also a story of continuance – of ancient knowledge now held by just a few being passed to the elders of tomorrow.

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Through the Stars

26 July – 8 August 2018

Through the Stars is a unique portraiture exhibition presented in collaboration with Empire Revival (formerly known as the Paddington Antique Centre), where both the art and the furniture will be for sale.

Through the Stars aims to celebrate life’s authentic relationships by visually portraying the fault in our perception of digital relationships with celebrity figures.

The artworks spotlight the developments in digital, social and reality media, which have created a direct channel for users to engage with celebrity personas.

Artists’ @MCRT.Studio

White Canvas, 6 Byres St, Newstead.

Reject the factory, reject the road, reject the shop.

I feel exhilarated when I pick up my drawknife. It connects me to my tradition, to my ancestors, this two handled blade, used to slice timber and shape wooden components. It is the foundation of my practice. With a small vice and a backpack we go anywhere, carving under trees, by the beach, on top of mountains, next to creeks, by the remains of abandoned huts. Sometimes Bodja chairmaking workshop participants join me to feel the freedom of en plein air, of not being bound to the factory. I use only salvaged timber pulled from structures; material connected to human memories and experience. The first floorboard of a home’s threshold, seen but not noticed a thousand times until it becomes part of a seat.

The rake handle my Grandfather gripped for 30 years; the top of the family table that generations talked around, now broken. I go to where these materials are from to make the chair components. I go there to understand where that floorboard fitted in, to see where my grandfather raked, to sit where the table sat. The smells, the sounds, the landscape that folded the memories, become embedded in the chair’s creation story. A story that can continue to be told into the future as the chair gains its own identity in the lives of its custodians. This is a Bodja chair. A chair that rejects the road. A crafted work formed of the experiences of life and its received stories, where the chair’s custodian/owner becomes part of its creation via connections to the salvaged timber or through drawknifing its components at a Bodja chairmaking workshop.

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