The Art and Deep Practice of Listening with Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr – Hope 103.2

The Art and Deep Practice of Listening with Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr

By Hope 103.2Friday 31 Mar 2017Open House with Stephen O'Doherty

Do you love learning from people who are wise? That’s what happened when I caught up with Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr. Miriam-Rose was the first Aboriginal to become the first trained teacher in the Northern Territory and went on to become the principal of a local Catholic school.

Her artwork is incredible, and it’s just been featured in a beautiful book published by the Bible Society for its 200th anniversary. And her depictions of Mary and Jesus at the Stations of the Cross certainly gave me some new insights into the spirituality of Aboriginal Christians. Most of all from Miriam-Rose I learnt about Dadirri. A practice of deep listening which she believes is healing for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and will help in the important work of reconciliation.

Image: Thirteenth Station of the Cross – Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr

Image: Thirteenth Station of the Cross - Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr

Image: Thirteenth Station of the Cross – Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr

“An aboriginal mother can only comfort a grown-up son in sorrow by touching him with her hand, but once he has died, she can take his body in her arms for the last time. Mary’s body and her son’s merge together into one. The tear in Mary’s head and on her hand symbolise her sorrow, straight lines radiate out from the tear as a sign of her new life from her dead son.”

That’s a description of Miriam Rose’s art which appears in ‘Our Mob God’s Story’ – a beautiful book of aboriginal art depicting Bible Stories which has just been released for the 200th Anniversary of the Bible Society in Australia.

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