Gunbalanya kids warm to Fridge Festival

Article image - Gunbalanya kids warm to Fridge Festival Youngsters from the ‘Top End’ come together in preparation for the Darwin Fridge Festival. They may be sweltering in 38-degree heat as the ‘Top End’ clings on to the last of the dry, but the kids of Gunbalanya know how to keep cool — paint an esky.

More than 60 local kids joined Mission Australia’s Matt Harrigan, West Arnhem Shire Council sport and recreation staff, and other community members to paint eskies for the Darwin Fridge Festival.

The afternoon painting session occurred on Tuesday 11th September and included a free BBQ and a splash at the local Gunbalanya Pool. 

West Arnhem Shire Council’s Team Leader for Sport and Recreation Andrew Wainwright said the project was a great opportunity to engage with the kids.

“The Fridge Festival at its essence is a grassroots festival, so it’s about connecting people and encouraging people to share their story on a fun medium, the fridge or esky,” Andrew said.

“It’s a useful way of engaging the kids in something fun and productive. All together, the Gunbalanya kids painted about 10 eskies, and it’s good for the kids to know their art will be on display in Darwin.”

The Darwin Fridge Festival is a grassroots festival, joining artists, businesses and community in a spirit of celebration, play and harmony.

Communities and individuals from across the Top End are encouraged to make fridge or esky art, or to write a poem or construct a piece of community theatre. The artworks are then displayed in prominent locations around Darwin throughout October.

The 2011 Darwin Fridge Festival was a great success with 133 artworks being made, 388 people involved in making art, and a combined audience of 152,800.