Support our Wiradjuri and First Nations artists and creative industries
Published: 18 Nov 2022 11:10am
Surprise your loved ones this holiday season with unique gifts created by Wiradjuri and First Nations artisans, makers and designers, available at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery Shop and ‘The Wagga Shop’ at the Visitor Information Centre.
The Gallery Shop has a wide range of artworks and gifts, including woven baskets by Aunty Joyce Hampton, bush bag artworks by renowned artist Lorraine Connolly-Northey, woven creatures by Aunty Lorraine Tye, and painted bags by Aunty Kath Withers.
Gallery Retail Operations Officer Karin Züge Bruton said the collaboration with Wiradjuri and First Nations artists as displayed in the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery Shop reflects the ongoing commitment the gallery has toward the support of Wiradjuri and First Nations artists and creatives.
“It is of critical importance that the gallery supports Wiradjuri and First Nations creative industries and practitioners, along with building strong and deep connections with our community,” Ms Züge Bruton said.
“An important part of this work is to share the artist’s story and their creative practice with visitors to the Art Gallery. People want to support Wiradjuri and First Nations artists and creatives and are seeking to connect with the artist’s individual story and carry this knowledge home with them as part of purchasing a stunning woven fish, brooch, or a pair of earrings made by a Wiradjuri or First Nations artist.
“It’s the connection to the artist’s story and the meaning that is within the object that is very important to both the artist and to our visitors to the Art Gallery.”
The Wagga Shop, located within the Visitor Information Centre, boasts a wide range of giftware and products created by Wiradjuri and First Nations artisans, including hand poured Australian scented candles, room sprays and body wash, Christmas tree decorations, Riverina Pistachio Bush Dukkah, as well as boomerangs, coolamons, digeridoos and music sticks.
Visitor Services Operations Officer Sarah Myers said she’s noticed visitors are often drawn to the Wiradjuri and First Nations products.
“People are really impressed by the quality of the work and the fact that they’re unique,” Ms Myers said.
“COVID changed the way our visitors shop; now they’re looking for something local and Australian that tells a story. Every piece of artwork has a story and a meaning; the scents and every ingredient used in these products have a purpose.
“We recently had overseas visitors buy two boomerangs by Narrandera-based artist Michael Lyons to take back to their family in France. We’ve been stocking Michael’s works for 20 years, and his work has travelled far and wide which is wonderful.”
Ms Myers is encouraging residents to visit The Wagga Shop ahead of the gift-giving season.
“We’ve got a little something that will suit everyone; teacher’s gifts, Kris Kringle gifts, and presents for friends and family. We’ll wrap everything and get them ready to pop under the Christmas tree, and you’ll be supporting our region’s very talented Wiradjuri and First Nations artisans.”
The Wagga Wagga Art Gallery is located within the Civic Centre in Baylis Street. For more information, visit waggaartgallery.com.au
The Wagga Shop is located within the Visitor Information Centre at 183 Tarcutta Street, Wagga Wagga. See what’s available at visitwagga.com/thewaggashop