Blue Mountains News

Nationally significant First Nations work on loan to Blue Mountains Cultural Centre for two years

By Blue Mountains City Council
Archived 27 Jan 2024 - Posted: 28 Nov 2023
Jo Clancy & Wagana Dancers Yindyang Bila, 2022. Photo: Sue Healey
The Blue Mountains Cultural Centre is partnering with the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) through their Sharing the National Collection program which enables regional and suburban galleries to borrow from the National Collection for extended periods of time.

Four artworks from the NGA Collection, all video works by female First Nations artists, will be shown alongside three videos by Blue Mountains Aboriginal practitioners: Aunty Sharyn Halls (with Craig Bender and Vera Hong); Jo Clancy (with Sue Healey) and Leanne Tobin.

The works will be shown as part of a new exhibition Ngurra Bayala (Country speaks) and have been selected in consultation with local Dharug curator and artist Leanne Tobin.

Tobin worked with Blue Mountains City Council Artistic Program Leader, Rilka Oakley on the selection of the works from the NGA Collection, which is home to over 155,000 works of art, including the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.

The final selection includes works by Megan Cope, Fiona Foley,Julie Gough and r e a, whose works spoke strongly to Tobin and Oakley.

Tobin reflects on the works she has selected, “It’s the truth telling of stories of place. It’s the artists telling personal accounts from Ngurra, from Country…the artists’ own stories. Hopefully the selection encourages people to come into the gallery. And hopefully, they leave with some kind of insight.”

Blue Mountains City Council Mayor Mark Greenhill said, “Council is excited to be partnering with the NGA to bring these significant works into our exhibition space for the next two years, highlighting the importance of sharing First Nations stories.”

In all, seven artworks will contemporise the existing Into the Blue World Heritage Interpretive Centre, which is the Cultural Centre’s permanent exhibition space. The existing footage from Into the Blue will still be on offer, and visitors can also enjoy Ngurra Bayala (Country speaks)which will be shown on a continual loop with the current landscape footage throughout the day.

In recognition of this new exhibition, Artlink Magazine have commissioned an article about the exhibition by Rilka Oakley and Leanne Tobin. This edition of Artlink will also launch the evening of Friday 15 December to celebrate their annual Indigenous edition which this year will be titled,INDIGENOUS working voices. 

Rilka Oakley said “The opportunity to be part of the National Gallery of Australia’s Sharing the National Collection has enabled us to connect with nationally significant First Nations work and bring that work to our audiences.

“This opportunity has meant we now have seven contemporary First Nations videos on exhibition alongside our permanent World Heritage display,” she said.

Ngurra Bayala (Country speaks)will open to the public with a launch event on Friday 15 December, to be opened by Mayor Mark Greenhill from 6 – 8pm. All are welcome.

 
Arrana Arrana Arrana Arrana

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