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  • Discover the art of the Torres Strait

Discover the art of the Torres Strait

  • 15 June 2021

A trip to Newcastle Art Gallery should be at the top of your list this winter. Not only is it indoors and climate controlled (to keep the works of art in prime condition), but there’s also a unique opportunity to view works of art never before seen outside of the Torres Strait.

WARWAR: The Art of Torres Strait is a landmark exhibition showcasing over 130 works drawn from the Gallery’s collection, as well as newly created pieces and key loans from local, state and national institutions, artists and private collections.

The exhibition has been four years in the making and was developed by Newcastle Art Gallery in collaboration with highly awarded artist and curator Brian Robinson. Robinson is best known for his printmaking, sculpture and public art which includes his iconic large-scale Woven Fish sculptures on the Cairns Esplanade.

The focus of the exhibition is the traditions and history of Torres Strait Islander culture. The exhibition features the full range of Torres Strait Island artmaking from traditional masks from the 19th Century to contemporary lino prints, sculptures and textiles of today.

You could come and view this exhibition with no knowledge of Torres Strait Island art and culture, yet still walk away with an incredible understanding and appreciation.

Aside from the fascinating exhibition, there’s also a great range of additional programming to enjoy including the popular Last Fridays which comes complete with pop-up bar. The more discerning visual arts enthusiast may enjoy the Artist Talks, or one of the Gallery’s regular Guided Tours on a Sunday afternoon. Check out the Gallery's calendar of events below.

WARWAR: The Art of Torres Strait
Saturday 29 May - Sunday 22 August
Exhibition on display, entry is free.

Last Fridays: Island Time
Friday 25 June
Last Fridays is a free monthly after-hours art party, complete with pop-up bar. This month, join us after-hours for an evening of music and games hosted by the local Torres Strait Islander community, inspired by the exhibition. Bookings recommended.

Coming of the Light

Thursday 1 July
A recording of local TSI elders and community members performing gospel songs to be played throughout the Gallery space for the duration of the day. This concept has been developed in consultation with local community members. Free event, bookings required.

Curator and Artist Talk
Saturday 3 July
Join Newcastle Art Gallery Director Lauretta Morton, guest curator Brian Robinson and local artist Toby Cedar for an in-depth conversation exploring the exhibition. PLUS enjoy a dance performance by local TSI youth dance group. Free event, bookings required.

School Holiday Workshops: Create your own flag
Monday 5 - Friday 9 July
School Holiday Workshops will focus on key elements of the exhibition. Young artists will enjoy a mini tour of the exhibition, learn about the Torres Strait Islander flag designed by the late Mr Bernard Namok, then create their own Torres Strait Islander flag using coloured sand, a small canvas and glue. An art activity for children aged 5-12 years, cost is $12. 

Saturday 10 July 
To celebrate NAIDOC Week, local artist Toby Cedar will present a traditional dance performance related to four key areas throughout the exhibition. The audience will move through the exhibition space learning about TSI culture and stories. Free event, bookings required.

Last Friday: July
Friday 30 July 2021
Last Fridays is a free monthly after-hours art party, complete with pop-up bar. Continuing the after hours fun from June, join us again for more fun inspired by the TSI community. Bookings recommended.

To see more great art and culture events view the 'art and culture' category on What's On.


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