Regions benefit from Aboriginal arts and cultural funding

Regional organisations across NSW have shared in $150,000 for arts and cultural projects that celebrate and promote Aboriginal cultural identity, Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said today.

Mr Grant said the NSW Aboriginal Regional Arts Fund supports Aboriginal artists and organisations to develop their professional practice and express their rich and varied cultures.

“The NSW Government is proud to invest in a vibrant, distinctive and contemporary Aboriginal arts and cultural sector,” Mr Grant said.

“From established organisations hosting youth programs, regional arts boards facilitating professional opportunities, and councils hosting workshops and exhibitions, the NSW Government is focused on arts and cultural development.

“These projects will engage and promote Aboriginal artists and organisations in regional and remote communities and encourage greater appreciation and understanding of NSW Aboriginal arts and cultural practice,” Mr Grant said.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Leslie Williams said the grants will help local artists to tell the stories of their communities.

“Storytelling is an important part of Aboriginal culture and we want to support Aboriginal artists to express their culture through a range of mediums,” Mrs Williams said.

The projects to be funded are:

Flying Fruit Fly Foundation – $15,000
Bouncing River Kids is a circus skills workshop and performance program for young Aboriginal people aged 10 and over in the Albury region. The project will focus on telling local stories based on life growing up with the Murray River, through circus and theatre.

Eastern Riverina Arts – $14,600
709.94R is an exhibition of 18 Aboriginal artists from the Eastern Riverina, curated by Melanie Evans. Each artist will make a contemporary miniature work for inclusion in a wooden cabinet resembling a library card catalogue. The exhibition will tour in 2016 to 10 libraries in the Riverina.

South Coast Writer’s Centre – $14,678
The Mentorship for Emerging Aboriginal Writers program aims to help emerging Indigenous writers develop their skills. Three workshop leaders will mentor the writers on facilitating workshops with inmates at Junee Correctional Facility, present readings for the public and produce a publication.

Shellharbour City Council – $15,000
The Weaving Cultures Project will help Aboriginal weavers develop woven designs for seating and sculptural forms in the new Shellharbour City Hub. The public art projects focus on community cultural development with weaving workshops with local Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal groups.

Sian Christiane Hromek – $3,000
Covered by Concrete is a collaborative project for the Underbelly Arts Festival 2015, created by three siblings, Sian, Daniele and Michael Hromek, descendants of the Budawang people of the Yuin nation. Covered by Concrete will integrate mediums of sound, audio visual, drawings, sculpture and written word to uncover stories of Cockatoo Island and Australia. The work will then be further developed during a creative residency on Cockatoo Island and presented at the Underbelly Arts Festival in August 2015.

Lismore Regional Gallery (Lismore City Council) – $15,000
The Dreaming Trails’ project will investigate trade between the Bundjalung and Gumbaynggirr nations. Objects from the collections of Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Richmond River Historical Society will be researched by Bundjalung and Gumbaynggirr artists, creating new works for exhibition.

Bundanon Trust – $8,500
TRANSMIT Art-and-Banner Project is a four-day intensive residency and mentorship project at Bundanon Trust involving artists from the Aboriginal Cultural Arts Program, TAFE, Nowra campus and young people disengaged from school. The team will design the artwork, which will be installed in the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre foyer and studio in August as part of TRANSMIT, a celebratory performance involving around 60 local Aboriginal young people.

Byron Shire Council – $15,000
Local Aboriginal artists will produce up to six seasonal exhibitions. The exhibitions will provide the artists the opportunity to explore and express their relationships with country or culture or family/community life for that season. There will also be a NAIDOC and additional exhibition to explore other themes.

Wagga Wagga City Council – $7,000
The council will host a panel forum featuring four high profile Aboriginal artists to discuss key cultural and political issues impacting Aboriginal artists today. The panel forum will target attendees from Join the Dots Professional Development Program for Aboriginal artists and creators, local schools, the wider Aboriginal community and the non-Aboriginal community. The forum will enhance our local artists’ knowledge of issues that may be faced when furthering their arts career.

Arts North West Inc. – $15,000
A regional NSW Aboriginal Creative Freedom Curator will be engaged to enhance the professional and skills development of Aboriginal performers and artists, guiding them to explore and express their cultural identities through vibrant and creative displays and performances for the opening of the Aboriginal Cultural Showcase.

Murray Arts Inc. – $15,000
Author Dr Anita Heiss will help local Aboriginal artists explore the importance of their individual stories to their art. These stories will be included in a publication highlighting the richness and diversity of Aboriginal arts practice in the region.

Hubert Thomas Timbery – $3,000
Hubert Timbery will work with artists Dianne Berkrey (stained glass) and Barney Ryan (carver, painter, poker-work) to develop a project based on the Bidjigal Whale Dreaming creation story for the Booderee National Park (Jervis Bay) region. The final work will be a large-scale stained glass window depicting the designs for the Whale Dreaming story.

Warwick Patrick Keen – $3,000
Artist Warwick Keen will tour his Photographic Exhibition “Back to Burra Bee Dee” to regional centres and galleries. It will tell the story of Warwick’s ancestors from the Coonabarabran area of NSW.

Darryl Ferguson – $3,000
This project will introduce Aboriginal arts and culture to young children through Darryl’s carved totem poles. He will work closely with the Diggers Pre-School & Childcare Centre and the Lightning Ridge Pre-School to promote local Aboriginal art and culture.

Saretta Jane Fielding – $3,000
Saretta Jane Fielding will create a public artwork celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and the successful partnerships between Aborigines and the wider community in Lake Macquarie. Local elders will tell their stories through the collaborative project.

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Published: 27 May 2015