Creating Creative Careers for Aboriginal Curators in the New England North West

The Create the Curator project is in its final stages this week as three emerging Aboriginal curators put their new skills into play, preparing for their first group curated show. Three Perspectives, an exhibition of selected works from Aboriginal artists in the Gomeroi region will be opening at Weswal Gallery Tamworth on the 28th of February at 6pm.

The emerging curators from the New England North West region have successfully completed the three-part professional development project to build up their skills, experience and networks while gaining significant insight into the various environments curators work in.

“I have learned so much in relation to the technical and legal side of curating and exhibition.  This includes protecting the integrity of not only the gallery reputation but also the integrity of the artist and their artworks which is vital especially in the passing of knowledge and practices in Indigenous art making and preservation of art collections” said emerging curator Lyniece Keogh.

Professional curators Sandra McMahon (Weswal Gallery, Tamworth), Caroline Downer (Arts North West), Rachael Parsons (NERAM, Armidale) and Sharni Jones (The Australian Museum, Sydney),  have worked with Lyniece Keogh (Tamworth), Kylie Benge (Moree) and Raquel Clarke (Moree) through a series of workshops and site visits. These visits have included a variety of creative spaces from, Aboriginal owned and run galleries, regional galleries, commercial galleries to community spaces throughout the Armidale, Tamworth and Moree region.

“This is an excellent opportunity for experienced arts workers to develop into regional Aboriginal curators enabling them to promote not only their own skills but also that of other regional Aboriginal artists” said Project Manager Lorrayne Riggs.

“This project is the result of community consultation and identifying a real gap in the market for regional Aboriginal curators, it will promote long term cultural, social and economic outcomes”.

The program was created as a result of the government’s Create NSW funding initiative and aims to engage and promote regional Aboriginal artists, arts and culture by introducing more Aboriginal people to curatorial positions in regional NSW. 


Rivers to Ridges Project Reaches its Final Destination at Tamworth Regional Gallery

Arts North West is working alongside Tamworth Regional Gallery this week to install their much-anticipated Rivers to Ridges and the Stories In between exhibition. This the final stage of the two-year project funded by the Federal Government’s Indigenous Languages and Arts Program.

Through the lens of filmmakers Brendon Blacklock (Blacklock Media) and Tim Leha, (The Kainga Project) the Rivers to Ridges project has travelled to the far corners of the New England North West region to gather and documents the stories of Elders and local Aboriginal history.

The stories of twenty Elders have inspired a new body of work from four New England North West Aboriginal artists. Loren Ryan (Tamworth), Ronella (Dolly) Jerome (Tenterfield), Jade Porter (Moree) and Anthony (Jack) Conlon (Gunnedah) have used a variety of mediums including virtual reality, song and sculpture to share these stories with the broader Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community. These works will be exhibited alongside the recorded Elders stories in the gallery space.

Lorrayne Riggs, Project Manager said “this is the first time that we know of where the stories recorded will be focused on the unique cultural value of our region. Too often Aboriginal culture from NSW is not valued as highly as in our neighbouring states. By translating and sharing the stories from our region we can show the world that Aboriginal culture is alive, important and highly valued in the New England of NSW.

Rivers to Ridges and the Stories In between exhibition will be officially opened at the Tamworth Regional Gallery on Friday the 8th of February at 6pm by Gomeroi man Peter White with a ceremony by Len Waters.