Weaving First Nations’ Culture, History and Art These School Holidays

2 years ago | by

Luca Saunders leading the fashion walk finale at the Opening of SWFW

Luca Saunders leading the fashion walk finale at the Opening of Saltwater Freshwater Arts 2021

Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery reopened its doors earlier this month with the Saltwater Freshwater Arts 2021 and ahead of NAIDOC week this year will host a series of storytelling and weaving workshops throughout this weekend.

“The exhibition and workshops are an opportunity to really immerse yourself in Aboriginal culture. Learn about Dunghutti, Gumbaynggirr, Biripi and Worimi language, art and cultural practices directly from the Elders and practitioners across those nations that the Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance covers. Everyone is welcome,” said Chloe Waters, Council’s Curator – Gallery and Museum.

For those visiting the gallery, museum and local libraries this week there are free craft packs featuring the NAIDOC 2021 theme of ‘Heal Country’ available from local libraries, over the school holidays or until they run out. The packs include instructions and materials for a range of crafts and are aimed at all ages, although children under five may need some assistance.

On Saturday 3 July, join Elders from the Gumbaynggirr and Dunghutti communities to share stories, language and connection. The Elders include Uncle Michael Jarrett (Gumbaynggirr), Uncle Barry Hoskins (Gumbaynggirr), Blake Cusack (Gumbaynggirr), Aunty Cheryl Blair (Dunghutti), Aunty Rosalee Quinlan (Dunghutti) and Aunty Joan Quinlan (Dunghutti).

There will be two workshops on Saturday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm. Entry is free, but booking is required: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/elders-and-linguists-storytelling-tickets-160707340983

On Sunday 4 July, put on your creative hats and come along to be inspired by Gumbaynggirr weavers – Aunty Denise (Yarna) Buchanan, Jasmine Stadhams and Lilly Clegg – who will demonstrate their ancestral weaving skills and designs. The workshop is open to all ages and skill levels. The workshop on Sunday is from 10.30am – 2.30pm. Entry is free, but booking is required: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/weaving-workshops-tickets-160889405543

Please note that bookings are required due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. Ticket holders will be given preference, but others may be accommodated if space permits. Face masks and social distancing requirements are mandatory.

The workshops will be held in the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery. Saltwater Freshwater Aboriginal Art Award and Contemporary Cultural Objects Exhibition is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture from the Mid North Coast, spanning the Worimi, Biripi, Dunghutti and Gumbaynggirr nations that make up the Saltwater Freshwater region. Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery is a 2021 touring partner with Saltwater Freshwater Alliance for the biennial exhibition. The exhibition will run until 7 August.

The art award is proudly supported by the Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance Aboriginal Corporation: the touring exhibition and public program are supported through the Australian Government’s Indigenous Languages and Arts program and the NSW Government through Create NSW, and in collaboration with our gallery partners; the Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, Boomalli Aboriginal Art Gallery, Manning Regional Art Gallery and Wadjar Regional Indigenous Gallery.

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