Guyra Arts Project
Art heals. Art crosses bridges. Art opens us up to new possibilities. Art is (r)evolution.
We believe authentic, community-driven storytelling fosters deep understanding of ourselves, anchors us to country and from this place can impact the world around us.
Our goal at the Guyra Arts Project is to work with the community to amplify their voices.
We are committed to facilitating and participating in powerful collaborations, incubating deep connections between aspiring storytellers and innovative grassroots leaders focused on creating a world that gives safe passage to the next seven generations.
Revealed is the unique spirit of the individual, the community, the culture and ultimately the country through diverse conversations and projects around topical subjects that introduce new ideas, philosophies, methodologies and engaging calls to action that inspires other communities around our country and around the world.
The biblical revival starts here at the top of the mountain at the headwaters. The holy fire has been lit and activated in us. Hallelujah.
MEET THE LOCALS
"...but the Book of Acts is not finished"
Steve Word Smith
Headon Photo Festival. 2023.
...to be continued
Thundercloud Repairian (aka James Arthur Warren)
Australian Poetry Hall of Fame, Guyra. NSW.
Portrait essay & story by MarYarm Saffire BoVardia
'A man should have a furrowed brow' the art critic said when he was looking at my photo essay of James Arthur Warren. 'It's a sign a man is in thought which is the way a man should be'. In this photo session I photographed both Thundercloud Repairian and James Arthur Warren. Air. Mountains. Rivers. Sea. Poet. Artist. Entrepreneur. Thinker. He believes everyone is a poet, some just don’t yet know it. He knows how important poetry is in the cultural psyche, from aboriginal songlines to bush poetry and Aussie hip hop. James has created the Australian Poetry Hall of Fame to preserve and promote Australian and Indigenous poetry, languages and songlines.
2020 was an initiation, a preparation, a death of the old and the beginning of the new.
February 2020. James Arthur Warren was on his way back to his home in the Northern Rivers of NSW from the Banjo Patterson Poetry Competition in Canberra when he took an unplanned detour and made the delightful discovery of Guyra’s disused Arcadia theatre ripe to be reinvigorated, rejuvenated and repurposed. The Australian Poetry Hall of Fame was born.
Three years later the people need to hear the inspiring story of this dynamic creative entrepreneur who is likely to achieve his vision of putting Guyra on the map, creatively. Whilst the world was falling apart he was building his dream.
Guyra is located to one side of the Mother of Ducks Lagoon which is contained within the crater of an extinct volcano 1330 metres above sea level. The traditional custodians are the Banbai and Kamilaroi. The trout fishing here is good. The first church was built by the settlers in 1876. It’s known for its yearly Lamb and Potato Festival held in January amongst other cultural highlights many of which are being held at the town’s vibrant, eclectic, house of creativity, the Australian Poetry Hall of Fame.
JAW is an environmental scientist and teacher with a passion for literature, education and performing arts. He’s dynamic, creative, entrepreneurial and visionary with a Viking spirit honed in the one of the toughest universities of life, Nimbin. He holds the Guyra Craft and Farmers Market every Saturday at the Poetry Hall of Fame. When I asked him what kind of stall holders he needs he just said “Anything…so long as it’s creative”. He is an active member in a number of committee’s and organisations including the Guyra Chamber of Commerce, Guyra & Communities Progress Association and Guyra Neighbourhood Centre. Almost three years after he landed in Guyra he was awarded a joint award with St Mary of the Angels for contribution to Art & Culture in the 2023 Australia Day awards by the local council. He has mixed feelings about this but thanked me for congratulating him on this meaningful recognition within a truly grassroots community and context. He admitted was deeply honoured.
The essence of poetry is to take language and transform it, to create frission, evoke viseral responses in the listener and evolving awareness. With all that is happening in the world at this dark time in history JAW is inviting everyone to deepen their connection with the world around them through poetry. Many use poetry as an antidote to despair. In the words of famous beat poet Allan Ginsberg "The only thing that can save the world is the reclaiming of the awareness of the world. That is what poetry does."
In February 2023 he was awarded First Prize for his painting which was a self portrait in the Guyra Regional Show. He was also the subject of a photo essay by MarYam Saffire BoVardia. Two entries were entered into Guyra Regional Show and won Grand Champion First Prize and Third prize and overall Grand Champion in Photography. Her entry in the Armidale Regional Show was awarded First Prize.
by Thundercloud Repairian
The sun shines and the winds blow
It's dry, wet, there's sleet and snow
If you live in Guyra you will get cold
Become tough and strong, live real old
Living in Guyra has wind and sun
People here walk fast and run
Frosty briskness in wide blue skies
Red sunset and misty sunrise
Ice on Mother of Ducks lagoon
Spring rains bring more ducks soon
Sunset and the fresh day ends,
Sitting around fires yarning with friends
Creative Commons 4.0 CC BY-ND