First Nations art gallery finds permanent home in Bendigo Visitor Centre

Home Arts First Nations art gallery finds permanent home in Bendigo Visitor Centre
First Nations art gallery finds permanent home in Bendigo Visitor Centre

A new First Nations gallery called Djaa Djuwima will be established inside the Bendigo Visitor Centre.

The gallery will host three curated exhibitions each year and follows the blockbuster Piinpi indigenous fashion exhibition run by the Bendigo Art Gallery in 2020.

Aunty Lyn Warren is part of the Wartaka, a creative advisory group established to help develop Djaa Djuwima.

She said the exhibit space’s name meant to show and share country in Djaara.

A woman standing in a gallery room
Aunty Lyn Warren is welcoming the First Nations gallery.(ABC Central Victoria: Shannon Schubert)

“I’m quite proud to be involved in this,” she said.

“With the Dja Dja Wurrung history and the story of the culture and the land that we’re on … I think it goes together really well.

“This is fantastic. It’s so central and it will be so good for our people.” 

Showcasing country and culture

The gallery will open on November 24, with the first exhibit to be curated around the theme of Gutangarr Dja Dja Wurrung Djayi, which means, “You are on [or in] Dja Dja Wurrung Country”.

First Nations arts officer Janet Bromley will curate the exhibition.

She said Djaa Djuwima had been 10 years in the making. 

“When I first came to Bendigo I was going, ‘Where is it?'” she said. 

a photo of a room
There will be a cleansing of the building before it is transformed into the First Nations art space.(ABC Central Victoria: Shannon Schubert)

“This is what people have been doing for 60,000 years … it’s embedded in our DNA, this [art] is our way of communicating.” 

She said local First Nations artists previously only had a dedicated exhibition space once a year in Bendigo.

“I’ve been running the Knuldoorong art exhibition in Dudley House every NAIDOC week,” she said. 

“We’ve gone from 15 dedicated artists to 30 or more and I’m finding more and more all the time.” 

A photo of a woman in front of a poster
Yorta Yorta woman Janet Bromley made the emu print in Djaa Djuwima’s logo.(ABC Central Victoria: Shannon Schubert)

Ms Bromley is keen to see the artist community grow at Djaa Djuwima.  

“We now have a lot of young people, in our last exhibition we had two high school students,” she said. 

“For First Nations people to be able to see their peers out here in the community, in this space, I think that will be an important thing.”

Djaa Djuwima is expected to showcase painting, weaving, making, woodwork and artefacts.

an exterior photo of a building
The Bendigo Visitor Centre’s Post Office Gallery will be transformed into Djaa Djuwima, Bendigo’s First Nations Gallery.(ABC Central Victoria: Shannon Schubert)

Run of success

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