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October 18, 2021

Bundjalung artists to gather in Byron

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Uncle Digby painting ‘Jullum on Sandbar’ with Uncle Magpie holding his work
‘ Billinah’ and Oral Roberts with his cut -out artwork ‘Gooramin Sun’. Photo supplied.

The inaugural ‘Bundjalung Gathering’ art and culture exhibition will take place at Marvell Hall, Byron Bay, this coming week.

The region’s finest Aboriginal artists and craftspeople are exhibiting paintings, sculpture and craft. There will be daily weaving workshops from Sunday till Tuesday.

Bundjalung artists Oral Roberts (L) and Gilbert Laurie in front of the mural they painted in Peace Park in Nimbin last year. Photo supplied

The event is based around the concept of the tribes of Bundjalung gathering along the coast as in the ancient traditions.

Arts Northern Rivers’ Aboriginal arts development worker, Mark Cora, describes the exhibition as ‘an opportunity for artists to come together as the Bundjalung nation’.

‘The tribal groups of Bundjalung are often separated in modern times and rarely meet on common ground as once was the tradition in Aboriginal history. The meeting of artists and the welcoming to country is a very important cultural aspect of Aboriginal culture,’ he said.

Basket woven by Deb Cole. Photo Jugun Dandi weavers.

Michelle Michels, from local organisation AWARE Community has organised the exhibition with support from Byron Shire Council and Arts Northern Rivers.

The official opening is this Saturday evening from 5 pm – 8pm with a Welcome to Country from Arakwal woman Delta Kay followed by the Bunyarra dancers and didgeridoo player Rory Close.

There will be talks by the artists and a presentation on the Bundjalung history, while sound master Craigus McVegas will be providing music throughout the evening.

Ballina MP Tamara Smith (Greens) will be attending and speaking.

Artists include Wiyabal artist Oral Roberts, local artist Uncle Magpie and Widjabal artist Uncle Gilbert Laurie, Arakwal sisters Nickolla and Caitlayn Clark, Ken ‘Bull’ Gordon, Colin Appo with guest artists Dhinnawan and wood sculptor Gordon Pupanggamirri together with several emerging artists.

An elders’ morning tea will be held on Monday December 17 at 10.30 am: all elders are welcome, indigenous and non-indigenous.

To book for the weaving workshops, run by Jugun Dandi weavers Tanya Marlow and Deb Cole, call 0434 511 403 ($50 per class).

‘Bundgalung Gathering’ art and culture exhibition
Marvell Hall, Byron Bay.
Saturday December 15 – Tuesday December 18.
Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/aware-community-arts-northern-rivers-and-the-byron-shire-council-18295018908
Entry by donation – the art and craft is for sale.


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