From the BLAKworks J
[Blakfulla networks if you’re asking!]
This BLAKworks entry is dedicated to our Urban Dreaming Sista
2nd May 1962– 5th July 2006
Lisa Bellear was a formidable presence on the Australian arts scene and the BLAKarts landscape, achieving national and international recognition in a variety of fields. A Goernpil/Noonuccal woman from Stradbroke Island in Queensland, Lisa had been living and working in Melbourne for many years. She was just 46.
Amongst her many talents Lisa was a renowned poet, activist, photographer, broadcaster, comedian, a skilled interviewer and academic. She was a regular and supportive presence at Victoria based Ilbijerri theatre Co-op, forever bringing with her a strong sense of passion for Indigenous issues and commitment to her fellow Indigenous bruthas and sistas. Something, that will resonate for many years to come - by all who knew her and those who will follow.
She was one of the founders of Not Another Koori Show, which has been on air since 1986 on the Victorian community radio station 3CR. This show was a voluntary commitment ingrained in Lisa, presented with a clear intention – to provide a dedicated service to both the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community.
As a poet Lisa told it like it was, with such an uncompromising intensity steeped within the depths of love and a justifiable BLAK woman’s anger. Lisa's best known work is a collection of poetry titled Dreaming in Urban Areas which was published as part of the Black Australian Writers' Series through UQP in 1996.
As a performer, she lifted her BLAK words off the white page with such strength. It was remarkable, memorable and powerful. But alongside this intensity was a survivor and from that came the ability to laugh. Lisa’s comedy was BLAKfulla survivalist humour at its finest. Her quick wit ensured she could comment with comedic brilliance on just about anything to come her way.
Always seen with a camera close-by, Lisa excelled in capturing the Indigenous Community within the Australian landscape. Her photographic work was exhibited in Athens during the 2004 Olympics and is planned to be exhibited at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, albeit now in retrospect.
A wonderful advocate for Indigenous issues, Lisa wrote, spoke, laughed and loved from the heart. Her sentiments spoke loudly to those of us who had read her work, tuned into 3CR Monday arvo’s, heard her perform or had the privilege of knowing her.
Earlier this month, Lisa passed away in her sleep. It was sudden and unexpected, but evidence that this sista was destined for a bigger calling. We are blessed to have had her in our presence for as long as we did, although it will never be enough. Lisa Bellear will live on through the BLAKpages, the BLAKstages, the BLAKarts and our BLAKhearts.
REST IN PEACE URBAN DREAMING SISTA
"Everyone has a creative spirit, find it and release your dreams". – Lisa Bellear