Search is on for First Nations creatives to star in Newcastle Museum exhibition

12 Dec 2022

First Nations artists are being invited to take part in a major new community exhibition being curated by Newcastle Museum.

Entitled FIRST, the exhibition will challenge perceptions of traditional and modern creative practices by showcasing the diverse works being produced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said this exhibition would be the first of its kind for the Museum.

"Newcastle Museum is on the cutting edge of contemporary museum practice and has been nationally recognised for its innovative exhibitions, which create insightful ways to interpret and preserve our city’s fascinating history," Cr Nelmes said. 

"This exhibition will provide a wonderful avenue through which we can gain new perspectives and celebrate the work of local emerging and established First Nations creatives."

Newcastle Councillor and proud Wiradjuri woman Deahnna Richardson said Newcastle Museum offers an invaluable vehicle through which we can tell our city’s story and understand our identity.

“The Awabakal and Worimi communities have cared for this country we call Newcastle for more than 60,000 years and have carried rich and diverse arts practices and knowledge through many generations to contemporary life," Cr Richardson said.

“I applaud Newcastle Museum for working alongside the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to provide a space to celebrate their extraordinary creative and cultural practices."

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island creatives who have a link to Newcastle and the Hunter are invited to submit an expression of interest to take part in the free exhibition, which will be on display at Newcastle Museum beginning in April next year.

City of Newcastle's Museum, Archive, Libraries and Learning Director Julie Baird said the project has a strong focus on collaboration and consultation, employing First Nations creatives in the development of the exhibition.

"FIRST offers a blank canvas for creatives to broaden the community's perception on contemporary and traditional practices," Ms Baird said.

"It will offer new insight into the variety and possibilities offered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives while also providing them with an opportunity to leave a first and lasting impression with potential collaborators, clients, and audiences."

The exhibition will be accompanied by an online portfolio where visitors can connect directly with artists' online profiles.

Expressions of interest are open now and will close on Sunday 12 February. Visit the Newcastle Museum website for more information.