During the most recent lockdown, Flannery was working at the Art House, Wyong and cleaning the theatre while she received JobKeeper. Simultaneously, she was also in the first stage of creative development for her upcoming work Bulnuruwanha, when it dawned on Flannery how much Uncle Dujon influenced her process. Ordinarily, she would be diligent about her performance hours, but faced with the mundanity of cleaning, she seized the opportunity to daydream.
“The next day, we created four or five minutes of one of the sections and I probably never would have done this [without experiencing Uncle Dujon’s creative process]”. Flannery realised, “maybe this is my process, like maybe daydreaming is how work is created”.
As Flannery reflects on the impact of Uncle Dujon on her dance practice, it becomes evident that his impact had much greater reach than the mirrored walls of the NAISDA studios and the cultural immersion trip in Moa Island.
“For a lot of Aboriginal people, we can be quite self-conscious about the colour of our skin because of colonisation. You know, we all look different now from how we did 100 years ago. But he would say, ‘you know who you are’ and everyone got treated the same.”
“It was his belief and generosity that helped me believe in myself more and go back to my mob and not be self-conscious. Being with him, and how welcoming he was, gave me courage to stop holding myself back.”