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A PLACE TO BELONG, CONNECT , SHARE AND HEAL - Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre

‘Heal Country’ is this year’s NAIDOC 2021 theme and the name of the annual NAIDOC exhibition at Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre in June and July.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists who are connected to or living on Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi lands will share their understanding of connection to country and the need to ‘heal country’ through painting, weaving, sculpture, video, poetry and performance.

Coordinator Alicia Sharples said: "Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre constantly strives to create a place with a sense of safety, belonging and inclusion within the community and allows for First Nations voices to be heard with their regular NAIDOC exhibitions.

"This year we have the generous support of ACCOR hotel group to make this exhibition possible and we are excited to host an incredible array of artists with Elders such as Aunty Hope O’Chin, Aunty Beverly Hand and Uncle Paul Calcott, along with established artists like Dr Jandamarra Cadd, James Hurley, Bridgette Chilli Davis and new emerging artists such Cholena Drew Hughes and Ivy Minniecon.

"We are incredibly lucky to again have artworks by Uncle Paul Calcott’s Nuunaron group who are First People’s Disability Network artists. Their work will be seen for the first time in this exhibition at Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre before their unveiling in the UN headquarters in New York."

Co-coordinator and local indigenous artist Melissa Stannard said: "Our connection to country is inherent to our identity. When we walk on country, we come alive as our ancestors watch over us and guide us, they are embodied in our waterways, trees, rocks, plants and animals. It is part of the way we practise, learn, rekindle and redevelop our creative skills and to listen deeper to ourselves and the land.

"Healing ourselves through healing country leads to healing our nation.

"We need to try to halt and reverse the damage done to our environment, the pollution of land and waterways, destruction of sacred sites and knowledges and to actively heed and engage with Aboriginal knowledge."

The exhibition is open from 18 June to 18 July at Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre, 11A Maple Street, Cooroy. Admission is free. The gallery is open 10am to 3pm, Tuesday to Sunday.

The exhibition opening will be held on 19 June from 4-6pm. Free admission but bookings essential - BOOK HERE.

A NAIDOC event will be held on 4 July from 11am to 1pm.

Pictured: Burralago Dancing (detail), dry point print, Melissa Stannard, image courtesy of the artist.


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