A big crowd gathered for the opening of the Naracoorte Caves art exhibition on Wednesday night.
Naracoorte Art Gallery was buzzing with people of all ages as the visual art which tells the science-related story of the world-heritage listed site was unveiled.
Dr Liz Reed, who helped children artists prepare their paintings, was happy to see a big crowd and believes the project will help the kids have a sense of pride in the caves.
“It’s all about building a really strong connection with the caves, it’s their heritage and I’d love to see that these children are tomorrow’s custodians of that area,” she said.
The vertebrate palaeontologist provided scientific advice to the children while local artist Karen Burow guided their creations at workshops in July.
“I think science and art is a very natural marriage, we both tell stories and it is really good to see the children get an opportunity to show their perspective and what it means to them,” Dr Reed said.
The project was made possible after Inspire SA approved grant funding of $10,000 to the Naracoorte Lucindale Council in partnership with the caves and the University of Adelaide.
Michael Mills (also known as Professor Flint) from Heaps Good Productions also supported the grant application was pleased to be involved in such a project.
“It’s been fascinating to see the art work that the kids have done,” he said.
Professor Flint will use the stories gathered from the art work and the community to create and produce a live performance.
At the exhibition opening, he enjoyed putting on a small performance with children and their parents joining in.
“I think I’m reminded in situations like this how extraordinary kids are,” Professor Flint said.
“Their enthusiasm and their ability to understand why somewhere like the Naracoorte Caves is important to them.”
Dr Reed was impressed with all the paintings produced and is looking forward to the next stage.
“It was a great privilege to work with children and was nice to see them make the connections between the fossils they’ve seen at the caves and living environment of the past then draw that.”