Shinju moonrise brings connection

Article image - Shinju moonrise brings connection Inaugural moonrise event is a symbol of connected cultures for the people of Broome.

When the full moon rose over Chinatown in Broom, Western Australia, on 23 August 2021, the metaphorical stars and planets aligned to create local history.

Shinju Matsuri, the Festival of the Pearl, traditionally marks the end of the pearl harvest season and is a special time of fun and celebration for Broome.

This year, the full moon rising over Roebuck Bay created a unique spectacle when it aligned with Chinatown’s new entry statement sculpture: ‘Fusion; interwoven cultures’.

Shire of Broome and Shinju Matsuri combined, with support from Regional Arts Western Australia, to create a special commemorative community art event that invited all to ‘take a piece of the moon home’.

Safehaven artists, Alex and Nicole Mickle designed the Fusion artwork with the themes of interwoven connections that characterise Broome – connections between the diverse people who make up the town, its connection to the saltwater country and the connection between the pearling past and vibrant present.

Broome’s famous moonrise over Roebuck Bay was a way of connecting earth and sky, so as the August moon rose, it sat at the pinnacle of the artwork, while Napier Terrace became a pedestrian zone with music and art activities.

Four artists were invited to create moon designs for the event – Jacky Cheng, Tomoko Yamada, Maxine Charlie and the Safehaven artists will showcase the diversity of Broome’s community and connections between the town and its heritage.

The designs were made into stamps and the community was invited to choose a moon stamp to mark their own commemorative card to create a memento of the inaugural moonrise event.