The story of the Charrnock Woman begins back in the dreamtime, when the evil spirit of the Charrnock woman would wander from kallep to kallep (campfires), stealing little koolongurs (children). She was very tall, taller than the jarrah trees, and she had long white hair that she used to keep the spirit children captive while she gathered more children in her arms. Once she had collected enough children, she would take them to her ‘man’ who dwelled in a cave near Wave Rock, and feed the children to him.
This story of the Charrnock Woman was told during one of CAN’s Yarns of the Heart dollmaking workshops in the Southern Wheatbelt in 2011. The captivating story inspired one of the Noongar women at the workshop to make a beautiful Charrnock Woman, which was exhibited at the WA Museum in the Yarns of the Heart exhibition later that year.
In 2012 the Charrnock Woman story thread continued, when the story was reinterpreted in an animation project with year six students from Narrogin Primary School and digital media students from Narrogin Senior High School.
Artist Steve Aiton ran the animation workshops and assisted the students to use the techniques of sand animation, stop motion animation and blue screen technology to recreate the Charrnock Woman tale, incorporating the actual Charrnock woman doll created during the Yarns of the Heart project.
The Charrnock Woman story then morphed again, when Polish artist Danka Scholtz Von Lorenz and the Narrogin community incorporated the content produced by the Narrogin students into a sculptural work, which was placed along Gnarojin Creek.
The Gnarojin Creek sculpture incorporates QR code technology, which allows the viewer to watch the animation clips from a smartphone or tablet.