For the 1994 Boomalli Aboriginal Artist’s Cooperative end of year exhibition, Matthew Cook and I were asked to install an Aboriginal-themed nativity scene of our own design. Drawing on Matt’s art skills and my experience in theatre design, this is what we came up with. Inspired by our trips to Central Australia, our collection of Aboriginal souvenir art and by our love of building and living in fully-functional outdoor camps (photo included), the full-size diorama made a memorable mark in Boomalli’s exhibition history.
Love and thanks to Brenda, Hetti and Jodie.
(Boomalli Aboriginal Artist Cooperative, Abercrombie St., Chippendale, 1994)

4 Responses to “Boomalli Native-ity Scene”

  1. Brenda L Croft

    I so loved this incredible object of love. Weren’t we lucky to have this space at that time, doing what we wanted? The memories I carry of this time are so deeply embedded in my heart and soul. All those wonderful people we loved who are only with us in spirit now. Come visit us in Braidwood Tim, we’ll light a fire for all our beloveds xoxoxo

    • Tim Bishop

      Indeed it was, a time full of wonder, an all new and so exciting time for me that I feel extremely gifted to have experienced, and all through my love for my man. Such a great space and such a welcoming place for people to come together. I don’t know how or when you got your work done! there were always visitors there from everywhere and they were always so welcome by you and Hetti and Jodie. It was THE place to hang-out. And yes, that time also marks the time of many passings of so many special people I am privileged and gifted to have known. You guys also gave us jobs we loved doing and the bucks really helped us out to enjoy the life we were so loving living. An opening night at Boomalli was ‘the’ place to be! Even if it meant the more everyone partied at an opening the more we had to cleanup the next day. Loved doing this native-ity scene with Matt, there are so many stories in this and it holds a lot of meaning to me. I remember Matt and I having the idea to sign the work off, ‘From the cleaners.’ Where else do the gallery cleaners get the opportunity to do something like this! This post is one of the most frequently visited posts on my website. Thank you for dropping by Brenda. Will see you soon down your way for a sit around that fire, if not, up this way before. xxx

  2. Vanessa

    Good evening, I am a teacher and would love to learn more about this full-size diorama. Where is this currently installed?
    Thank you

    • Tim Bishop

      Hi there Vanessa. Thanks for visiting my website and for your valued interest in the diorama. The diorama was a temporary installation as part of the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative end of year exhibition in 1994 when they were located at Abercrombie Street in Chippendale. Only photographs survive but to be sure it well made its mark at the time and was received and is still remembered very well. Happy to respond to any further enquiries you may have. Feel free to email me via my contact page. Again, thank you for your interest. It’s good to hear that it still makes an impression. Tim.


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