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FIRST: Newcastle Museum celebrates First Nations creatives

FIRST is a new exhibition curated by Newcastle Museum that celebrates the talent and creativity of the local First Nations artists.

The exhibition features the works of 16 First Nations creatives who have a connection to the Hunter region. It showcases a diverse range of artistic mediums, including paintings, sculptures, glass works, light projections, videos, clothing, a surfboard, and a giant shark, as well as four musical pieces that break down genre barriers.

Visitors will be able to see works by local artists Maree Bisby, Virginia McDonald, Shane Dixon, Adam Manning, Wanda Matthews, Wayde Clark (Aléjandro), Kachina Davidson, Gambirra Illume, Maria Tattersall, Jakeob Watson, Timothy Jackson (Timberlina), Ngaire Pakai, Shellie Smith, Jasmine Craciun, Wanjun Carpenter, and Jacob Cummins.

It’s hoped that the exhibition will give locals the opportunity to learn about and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Newcastle’s First Nations people.

“Providing opportunities for younger artists is the biggest investment for the future.. not just in a career sense, also just support in maintaining that connection to culture and being able to fly the flag, and display that with the most pride that you possibly can,” Gomeroi man and musician Jacob Cummins said.

Newcastle Councillor and proud Wiradjuri woman Deahnna Richardson encouraged people to read the stories accompanying each of the works in this free exhibition, which is the first of its kind for Newcastle Museum.

“This exhibition demonstrates Newcastle Museum’s commitment to providing space for First Nations people to share their own stories, amplifying their voices and enriching Newcastle’s cultural offering through temporary exhibitions,” Cr Richardson said.

The exhibition, which is free to attend, will run until 6 August. Visit newcastlemuseum.com.au.