On 31 December 2013, Tropical Cyclone Christine made landfall on the Western Australian coast, directly hitting the city of Karratha and the nearby townships of Roebourne, Wickham, Dampier and Point Samson. At the time it impacted these communities it was a Category 3 cyclone, with destructive winds in excess of 130 km/h and heavy rains.
Along with many homes, businesses and other buildings in the region, Roebourne Art Group was badly damaged. The Group is home to over 70 indigenous artists from across the Pilbara and plays a vital role in the community. Artists from RAG have won numerous art awards and works by senior artists hand in the National Museum of Australia, the State Gallery of WA, private collections across Australia and overseas. A painting by Ngarluma elder Violet Samson was presented to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as the state of WA's gift during CHOGM 2011.
While our landlord's insurance will cover repairs to the building's structure there was also considerable wind and water damage to the art, to award certificates and to furniture and office equipment.
Roebourne Art Group is no longer supported by the Federal Government (aside from a wages subsidy for two art workers, which cannot be used for any other purpose) and relies entirely on the sale of art to survive. Materials such as canvas and paints are purchased from the commission artists pay to the Group from sales of their work.
Therefore, aside from the building damage which will hopefully be covered by our landlord's property insurance, Roebourne Art Group is faced with replacing the damaged paintings - which consist of canvas, stretchers, paint and sometimes frames - from this small pool of funds. The artists whose works were destroyed face receiving nothing for their hours of effort and their talents.
We need your help to rebuild Roebourne Art Group - not the physical structure but its heart: the art it contained and the morale of the people who produced it.
All donations will be used firstly to replace the materials destroyed by the cyclone and then to recompense the artists a small fraction of the sale value of their art, so they'll be able to produce more amazing, beautiful work rather than being forced to look for other income.
Should we be lucky enough to exceed our goal, the additional funds will be used to improve the Art Centre and invest in new materials for the artists.
Roebourne Art Group has Deductible Gift Recipient status, meaning your donation (if over $2) will be completely tax deductible.