LOVE YOUR WORK: Nikki Webster, during an Aboriginal dance at the opening ceremony for the Sydney Olympics Photo: AP Amy Sancetta
LOVE YOUR WORK: Nikki Webster, during an Aboriginal dance at the opening ceremony for the Sydney Olympics Photo: AP Amy Sancetta

Rare glimpse of indigenous art

RENOWNED artistic director, journalist and actor Rhoda Roberts was busy this week ticking all the boxes before Monday’s opening of her new art gallery at the New Italy museum complex.

The proud Bundjalung woman said the gallery will offer visitors a rare experience to view indigenous artworks from around the nation.

“The gallery will feature artworks from Arhnem land, Cape York, the Kimberley and Central Desert regions, plus other urban and rural areas across the country, and of course local Bundjalung art,” she said.

Driving past the New Italy complex in January was when the wheels were set in motion for the Tullymorgan resident to establish the gallery.

“I think there is a huge potential for this type of art,” she said.

“I think there are some incredible artists that don’t get the opportunity of exposure.

“I thought this would be a great opportunity to educate people about the art, but also provide an outlet for local artists.”

Ms Roberts said she hoped to lure artists from around Australia to hold workshops and also incorporate performances and performance workshops.

To coincide with the 130th anniversary of the settlement of New Italy by Australia’s first refugees, the official opening of the gallery will be next Sunday, April 10.

“A number of local artists, the former CEO of Tourism Australia John Moore, the executive of the Australian Council for the arts Lydia Miller, Tony Duke from Arts Northern Rivers, and various people from the arts industry will be at the opening,” she said.

Well-known as being the founder and artistic director of the annual international festival The Dreaming at Woodford in Queensland, Ms Roberts was also the creative director of the Awakening Segment at the Sydney Olympic Games opening ceremony, the Rugby World Cup 2003, and Athens Olympics handover ceremony.

She has also worked as a journalist for the ABC, SBS and Network Ten.



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