Kedamaian refers in Sanskrit to the state of the soul. Harmony with the self, nature and the environment are considered in this reference. Kedamaian was a cultural exchange between three artists that provided a meaningful response to the Bali Bombings of 2002.

The project came to fruition between the years of 2006 – 2008 and resulted in a deeply moving inter-country exchange for the three. Each artist worked on their own series of images and then they were shown together as the complete exhibition, Kedamaian. The exhibition was shown in each of the artist’s home country and was each time well received.

The artists involved were Anna Niblic Heggie (Australia), Muhammad Bundhowi (Indonesia) and Sandra Phillips (Canada). Together they forged a mutual interconnection of shared ideas, feelings, emotions and thoughts in a united desire for world peace and understanding.

The project began with emails that expressed ideas, philosophies, world news and the personal and soon became a consistent dialogue for the three artists. Their main intention was to try and make sense of what had taken place in 2002. The Bali bombings shocked the world. The Balinese were particularly devastated and so were many Australians and many others.

Anna had reunited with her friends, Muhammad Bundhowi and Sandra Phillips in Bali in 2002. Sandra had returned home when Anna flew across to Java the morning before the bombs went off. Bundhowi known affectionately as Bun lives permanently with his wife in Bali and comes from Java. After the explosions Bun drove to immediately to the scene to help and was soon recruited by police to help indentify corpses.

When Anna returned to Bali only a week, she found her friend Bun, traumatised yet busily involved in helping with investigations. The three artists wanted to do something that would have meaning after such a terrible event. They discussed ways in which they could perhaps transcend certain barriers to invoke a deeper soul connection for peace. Their individual study, work as art educators and artists helped them to be seen as cultural ambassadors and Kedamaian was to be endorsed in a climate of much needed universal compassion.

The exhibition Kedamaian was first shown in 2006 in Toronto at The Barber Gallery, Canada with a short interview screened on the local news network. Sandra and Anna also gave a talk at The University of Guelph and ran workshops. The Rudana Museum in Bali then invited the threesome to be part of a huge upcoming event. The exhibition was to coincide with Indonesian Independence Day Celebrations and The Indonesian Masters Exhibition held at The Rudana Museum.

The artists were provided with their own pavilion at The Rudana Museum which was close to the main entrance. They received high accolades and excellent critiques and Kedamaian was also the first Photo-media exhibition to be held at the Museum. There were six hundred sit-down guests on the opening night and the artists were honoured to receive special mention by Senator Rudana and the Balinese Police Commissioner.

In 2008 the exhibition completed its final leg of the journey at Waywood Gallery, Byron Bay, Australia. Although the three artists had lived and worked far from each other geographically they had shared an amazing journey and vibrant cultural exchange. It was not just the immediate response to the devastation after the bombings in Bali but the destructive influences of fear on terrorism which followed. Kedamaian provided glimpses of personal insight that worked to reinstate the value of human life and its transient nature.

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