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Community Invited to Celebration of First Nations Creativity and Culture

City of Newcastle (CN) will serve up a feast of First Nations culture at Hamilton's James Street Plaza on Saturday as part of Newcastle Art Gallery's outdoor projection project.


Launched in July during NAIDOC Week, the project has included nightly screenings of DEAD TONGUE 2015, a major video work of art from the Newcastle Art Gallery's collection by internationally renowned First Nations artist Dr Christian Thompson AO.

The moving video, which is accompanied by a stirring soundtrack of the artist singing in Bidjara language, pays homage to the survival and reclamation of First Nations’ languages.

To celebrate the final weekend of projection, Newcastle Art Gallery is collaborating with local artist Wanjun Carpenter to host an evening of First Nations performance, food and music in James Street Plaza.

The event will feature local and national First Nations artists including Nardi Simpson, Adam Manning, Lacey Bilger and Lena Parkes presented by Catapult Dance, alongside DJ Wanjun Carpenter.

Aboriginal-owned food truck, Blackseed Catering & Café, will also be set up in the Plaza with delicious food and drinks made with native ingredients available for purchase.

Chair of City of Newcastle’s Community and Culture Advisory Committee, Councillor Carol Duncan encouraged everyone to join in the free celebration of First Nations art and culture.

"City of Newcastle is committed to providing opportunities for our community to acknowledge the extraordinary creative and cultural practices of First Nations people," Cr Duncan said.

"Newcastle Art Gallery's projection project has provided a wonderful avenue through which we can gain new perspectives and celebrate the work of First Nations creatives.

"I encourage our community to head along to James Street Plaza on Saturday night for the culmination of this project and enjoy the First Nations food, live music and performances on offer."

Newcastle Art Gallery Director Lauretta Morton OAM said the project was another way of connecting with the community.

"The projection project has been presented as part of Newcastle Art Gallery's ambitious offsite, outreach and digital programming, which is being delivered while the Gallery undergoes its major expansion," Ms Morton said.

"The expanded Newcastle Art Gallery will launch with an artistic program of ground-breaking temporary exhibitions alongside permanent displays of the collection.

"In the meantime, however, it is important to give our community as many avenues as possible to stay connected to us and we are thrilled to have been able to share this important First Nations work from our collection with the wider community during the past two months."

The free closing celebration for DEAD TONGUE 2015 will kick off at James Street Plaza in Hamilton from 6pm on Saturday, 26 August.


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