By Madison Behringer
This year’s NAIDOC Week runs until July 14 with the theme ‘Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together for a shared future’. NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and showcases the work and lives of Indigenous Australians with a new theme curated each year. NAIDOC Week 2019 is focusing on the voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia’s current political environment. With 2019 being celebrated as The United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages, Indigenous Australians are highlighting the need for their knowledge to be heard through voice. This year’s theme encourages all Australians to fight for that voice as, “it is the history of all of us, of all of Australia, and we need to own it.” (NAIDOC.org)
Throughout NAIDOC Week, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists showcase their work all over the country, from art exhibitions to live music events and more. Each year a National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony is held, recognising outstanding contributions made by Indigenous Australians, including an award for Artist Of The Year.
Many events are being held across Sydney this July for NAIDOC Week, with Indigenous artists showcasing their work in a huge range of areas.
On Saturday, July 13, Redfern’s Carriageworks will team up with Koori Radio and Bad Apples Music to host their annual NAIDOC Week event Klub Koori. The event showcases emerging and established Indigenous musicians and will celebrate this year’s theme of voice, treaty and truth. The line-up this year has been curated by both Carriageworks and Bad Apples Music, featuring artists BIRDZ, Nooky, Rebecca Hatch, Philly and Kobie Dee.
The Bad Apples Music label was founded by Briggs, who says that he “formed Bad Apples Music to allow other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to flourish at the highest level within the music industry nationally, and internationally.”
Head Curator of Aboriginal Programs at Carriageworks Hannah Donnelly spoke about the importance of working with labels such as Bad Apples on an event like Klub Koori.
“This way of showcasing artists and allowing other people to curate lineups is really important for an event like this, so that people can feel like they’re involved in decisions and so that we can work with different and cool people every year.”
Hannah went on to explain the importance of supporting and hosting an event like Klub Koori, saying: “It’s really good to have these artists. Something like Klub Koori, it’s for the community but it’s also for Carriageworks’ wider audiences in Sydney to learn about these artists as well.”
Klub Koori is keen to promote this year’s NAIDOC Week theme ‘Voice, Treaty, Truth’ with multiple artists having similar themes throughout their music.
“It’s such an important theme this year and it has its own political meaning outside of being a NAIDOC theme as well,” Hannah said, continuing, “but the beauty of it for us for this Klub Koori event is that all of those artists have their own stories to tell about their experiences as young Aboriginal people.”
Klub Koori will also be broadcast live on Koori Radio 93.7FM.
Indigenous artist, photojournalist and photographer Wayne Quilliam is bringing his newest exhibition Instaculture to Darling Quarter as part of NAIDOC Week 2019. Former NAIDOC Artist Of The Year, Wayne is bringing his large-scale digital-art exhibition to Sydney alongside family-friendly workshops to celebrate this year’s NAIDOC Week theme. Wayne’s ‘traditional digital art’ will showcase across 24 hours, a large-scale outdoor exhibition highlighting the six seasons of Aboriginal culture.
Of the size of the pieces, Wayne laughed and said: “If nothing, they’re biiiiig!”
Wayne spoke about his newest exhibition Instaculture and the creative process behind it saying, “I was just looking at the world and how we’ve advanced and how much we’ve embraced this incredible movement in technology but still our culture and our ancient practices are valid and important to us.”
Instaculture features an installation of digital artworks with 16 large cubes sprawling throughout the Darling Quarter. The pieces use digital technology to project Wayne’s images onto the surface of each cube.
“This is more a showing of where the people are from, salt water, fresh water, the mountains or the hills,” said Wayne of Instaculture, going on to say: “That’s what this is about, the showing of the seasons and the culture and how quickly we adapt and adjust.”
Wayne celebrates NAIDOC Week from one end of the country to another, with different exhibitions showing in all parts of Australia. As an Indigenous artist, Wayne embraces the opportunity to celebrate and showcase the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, especially through art.
“This is the week where we as Aboriginal people showcase and highlight the incredible work that we’re doing and we along with the non-Indigenous community enjoy and engage in this beautiful thing that is Aboriginal Australia.”
Jul 13, Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh. $15+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.carriageworks.com.au
Until Aug 3, Darling Quarter, 1-25 Harbour Street, Sydney. Free. Info: www.darlingquarter.com