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Arts & Culture

Wiradjuri artist-in-residence to inspire young creatives

Published: 14 May 2021 11:30am

Young Wiradjuri and First Nations creatives are being encouraged to spend time with a local Wiradjuri artist as part of a pilot residency program at Wagga Wagga Art Gallery.

Lorraine Connelly-Northey, who is connected to the Williams family of the Narrandera ‘Sand Hills’, will be sitting in an artist-in-residence position for the eight-week Meet & Make program.

Each Tuesday Wiradjuri creatives, particularly those aged between 18 and 26, can join in a variety of practical art making sessions led by Ms Connelly-Northey.

“It’s very exciting to have been invited by the gallery to share my traditional cultural knowledge and creative expertise to support our Wiradjuri youth,” Ms Connelly-Northey said.

“Hopefully, it will inspire them to create and produce objects that acknowledge Wiradjuri culture, and when they take them home, every time they see it, they’ll think about the course and it will be a talking point in their life.

“It’s empowering, building self-esteem and giving participants an overall sense of belonging to our community.”

Ms Connelly-Northey’s artistic practice is influenced by her western and Aboriginal heritage where she transforms into sculptures materials, such as wire and corrugated iron found and scavenged on farms and country tips.

These sculptural creations reference coil-weaving and reflect traditional objects such as narrbang-galang (bush bags).

Wagga Wagga Art Gallery Project Officer Maryanne Gray said Aunty Cheryl Penrith is also supporting the residency as the Community Arts Project Advisor.

“One part of Aunty Cheryl Penrith’s role will be to identify suitable young Wiradjuri and First Nations artists who would like the opportunity to work with a professional artist to develop their creative practice,” Ms Gray said.

“Importantly, this pilot program will enable the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery to build deeper relationships and capacity for the 2022 and 2023 stages of this project which has been named ‘Create on Country’.”

The first Meet & Make was held on Tuesday 11 May, with a session to be held each Tuesday from 10am to 3pm at the Art Gallery’s E3 Art Workshop space until 22 June.

For more information about the program, contact Maryanne Gray at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery on 6926 9360 or email