“Carry me softly is depicting one family’s loss is another family’s gain – well this was for me anyway. When I first met my birth mother approximately 15 years ago, the first thing that I blurted out of my mouth when I met her was thank you and that I am proud of you. She questioned me with a queried look on her face, and proceeded to asked me why? I replied that through your sacrifice I have been given the most beautiful life possible.’

My birth line is one of trauma; my great great grandmother was stolen, my mum was in homes at the age of 5, and me a lost generation finding home. I have 3 beautiful children that I could never think of living without them – ever, and through my ancestor’s trauma, I have held on a little tighter to them.”

Lisa Waup

Lisa screen printed at Spacecraft Studio with Stewart Russell, Danica Miller, and Clara Gladstone, to create a series of works on paper and tapa cloth. These printed images ultimately represent protective shields. Shield to protect the children. Protecting the motherless children. And they protect the chosen children on their altered paths. A dual sided woman surrounded by scattered empty coolamons signifies her two mothers, Lisa’s adopted mother (my mum) holding her as a babe in arms and the second figure representing Lisa’s birth mother (my mum), letting go. The scattered coolamons made from natural materials and discarded objects, found and repurposed, represent the children that have been left, stolen and lost from home, history and Country.

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About Baluk Arts

Baluk Arts is an urban Aboriginal community arts centre making waves in the art world. Based in Mount Eliza, Victoria. Baluk supports artistic, career and audience development for artists of the Bayside, Peninsula and greater Melbourne. Baluk Arts also works on a project basis throughout Victoria and wider Australia. Baluk artists are from diverse Aboriginal backgrounds from all over Australia and artworks created reflect themes of identity in a contemporary cultural context.

Baluk is a local Bunurong and Boonwurrung word meaning many or group of people and this reflects the diversity of our artists and their work. Our emerging and established artists hail from all over Australia and their art expressed their identity and cultural heritage in a contemporary context.

Through Baluk Arts, family groups and members of the stolen generation have reconnected with their culture and express their histories through strong artistic practice to support their cultural and creative wellbeing. Baluk Arts encourages community development, youth leadership, participation and interaction, and Indigenous governance through innovative arts practice.

The range of artworks and gifts created by Baluk Artists include clap sticks, carvings of wood, stone and bone, painting, works on paper, natural jewellery, weaving, kelp works, handmade cards, books, scarves, t-towels and sculptures. These are available to purchase through our exhibition program in our gallery and throughout the year in partner galleries throughout Melbourne.

Not only is the purchase on Aboriginal artwork through Baluk Arts an investment in the potential of an artist and their work it also directly benefits our artists through access to materials, studio space and professional development opportunities.

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