BLACKSMITH

 

BLACKSMITH. A video artwork created by Janice Kuczkowski and Joseph Falsone. 

BLACKSMITH was inspired by the life and times of Henry Roland (Harry) Curran, Ginninderra village blacksmith from 1891 to 1949.  The work features poems written by Joseph Falsone that are based on historic research and the re-imagining of Harry's life. Filmed and edited by Janice Kuczkowski, the poems were read on camera by twelve members of the local community. Janice also shot silent footage that accompanies and interprets the poetry. BLACKSMITH runs for just under 20 minutes.

BLACKSMITH was created as part of What Still Remains, an ACT Government initiative fostering creative community engagement in ACT heritage places. The work was screened at the Ginninderra Blacksmith's Workshop on 28 April 2012 during the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival.

BLACKSMITH is a community-specific socially engaged art project that weaves together historical content, creative elements and community involvement.

Click here to read a CCAS Social Pages blog-post of the BLACKSMITH screening event by David Broker (Director Canberra Contemporary Art Space)  

Click here to read an article about BLACKSMITH and the What Still Remains project in Art Monthly Australia by Nigel Featherstone.

Stills from BLACKSMITH high-definition digital video:


BLACKSMITH high-definition digital video:

 

Public screening event (photographed by Julia Karrer):


MEDIA RELEASE (April 2012)

Historic forge lights up again in new artwork featuring local residents

Residents, community members and small business owners of the Ginninderra region bring to life the untold story of the Ginninderra Blacksmith's Workshop in BLACKSMITH, a new video work by artists Janice Kuczkowski and Joseph Falsone that will be shown in a free on-site screening on Saturday 28 April 2012 from 5pm. The workshop, now an easily overlooked wood and corrugated iron hut by the side of the Barton Highway, was an important centre for the local community from 1860 to 1949. The last village blacksmith, Harry Curran, operated the forge for more than 60 years, shoeing horses, repairing carts and farm equipment, and offering a warm refuge for gossip over a glass of whisky during cold Canberra winters. Curran became a local icon. His workshop was used as one of Canberra's first polling booths. As "Australia's oldest blacksmith," Harry was one of six Canberra pioneers chosen to meet the Queen during her coronation visit to Canberra in 1954. Blacksmith enlists the present-day residents of the area to tell tall tales of Harry's life and times. Central to the story is Harry's infatuation with "the girl up the creek", Agnes, who was later to become his wife, a formidable woman whose black pudding and rainbow cakes were the envy of the district. Beulah McAppion, Harry and Agnes's grand-daughter, also appears in the work, which is inspired by Beulah's vivid memories of her grandparents and the workshop in its heyday. The free outdoor screening is presented as part of the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival 2012 and the What Still Remains Project. What Still Remains is an ACT Government initiative fostering creative community engagement in ACT heritage places. Prior to the screening, archaeologist Stuart Huys will present a short talk about the recent excavation work undertaken at the site. The National Trust of Australia (ACT) will be running a sausage sizzle at the event.