Anzac Day 2017 Storytelling projects across SA

On ANZAC Day 2017, storytelling projections around South Australia will share unique stories of SA people and regional communities’ contributions to Australia’s Anzac Legacy.

Projection art pioneers illuminart have been working alongside Veterans SA to gather stories from across South Australia about people’s experiences of World War One and the legacy it has left in their communities. Many of these stories have been collected as part of the Cheer Up Hut Club (http://anzaccentenary.sa.gov.au/cheer-up-hut-club/) which has toured to Barossa, Mt Gambier, Port Augusta, and will travel to Loxton and Riverland at the end of April.

The stories collected by illuminart will be interwoven with a local interview recorded by a Leading Light mentee (www.leadinglights.illuminart.com.au) and fragments of the Statewide Violet Day story.

The stories will highlight how South Australians volunteered for service and how SA families were affected by the 4 year long war, and the ways that regional communities responded with support, fundraising, and commemoration after the war.

Illuminart Artistic Director, Cindi Drennan, said … “This project, PRO MEMORIA brings together our latest pop up projection technology with the ancient powerful process of story sharing, to support healing and learning. Many people are unaware of the huge cost to country towns, who gave so much to support the war effort and whose families struggled on in grief after losing their brave kindred. Our country towns have quiet memorials that bear silent witness to loss and courage. With the participation of community members and our Leading Lights, we aspire to give a voice to the experience of communities at that time, through the power of projected digital stories.”

Illuminart’s Leading Lights (Kellie Higenbottom, Samantha Mordecai, Sue Wegener, Care Vaughn and Nisa Schebella) are presenting these stories in their local towns (Victor Harbor, Goolwa, Port Pirie, Semaphore, Port Lincoln) as part of their training and skills development with illuminart. Each of the team will create a new story or interview that will form part of South Australia’s digital ANZAC legacy.

The Violet Day animations commemorate the South Australian women and volunteers who established the Cheer Up Society and other volunteer organisations. They provided ongoing support to wounded and shellshocked men, and to bereaved mothers and families. The Cheer Up Society raised funds to build a soldiers’ clubhouse by selling violets around South Australia on the 2nd July 1915, including one bunch that sold at auction in Burra for 384 Pounds.

The Cheer Up Society predated the RSL and was a uniquely South Australian response to the war involving primarily women; and the Violet Day fundraiser they established continued for nearly 60 years.

The projections will offer the public attending the Anzac commemoration events insights into the diverse experiences of the First World War especially those of regional South Australian communities which are rarely told.

Illuminart has engaged local artists in regional areas to gather stories from their communities to add to the work. These bespoke pieces will then be added to the larger work and projected at a local Anzac event. The local crowds will be able to share in the knowledge of their unique perspective of World War 1 and how it has shaped the place that they live.

Artists Director, Cindi Drennan states “We are grateful to our project partners History SA, and Veterans Sa, staff participants and curators of the Cheer Up Hut Club. Thanks also to the Anzac day commemoration fund and Catalyst who have made this project possible”

Port Pirie

Port Lincoln

Semaphore

Victor Harbor/Goolwa