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NAIDOC: Our Languages Matter

3 July 2017

| OUR LANGUAGES MATTER |

NAIDOC Art Exhibition 28 June to July 2017

Here at the Hall, we like to believe we are a voice for art and culture of all forms, genres and styles, may it be music, musical theatre, history, art works and more. Currently the home to Youanmi meteorite discovered in 1917, dinosaur skeletons and now art works of Aboriginal origin.

Now a bit of a history lesson: During the time of British colonisation in the 18th century, it was estimated that there were over 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language groups. Each language group was connected to specific parts of the country, unique to particular land and waters having spiritual and cultural significance. Since then the link between many of these languages have been broken with sadly only 120 of these original languages still spoken with some still at risk of being lost.

The origins of the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC), dates to the 1950s, with a number of attempts by Aboriginal people to raise awareness from early in the 20th century. They sought to increase the awareness in the wider community of the status and treatments of Indigenous Australians. NAIDOC week itself is held in the first full week of July and is a time to celebrate and remind us of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements. This most important week is an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and society. (More info here)

In the months leading up to NAIDOC week, artists have produced bodies of stunning works. Each artist deriving from various language groups across our state, Noongar, Pintupi, Martu, Ngaanyatjarra, Yamitji, Bardi, Pitjantatjara, Tjuntjuntara and Wongatha have depicted their varying experiences. Each artwork is truly rich in beauty, individuality and personal story, speaking their thoughts regarding aspects of each artist’s cultural identity. The works depict experiences, totems, history and stories of creation. Reminding the community of the continuing presence of Aboriginal peoples’ connection to the land and waters and their movements throughout their land. One things for sure, it is true what is said, painting is a visual language.

The NAIDOC art exhibit, Our Languages Matter will be available for public viewing on level 2 at Perth Concert Hall. Running from June 28 to 27 July during opening hours of 9am – 5pm including during show times.Feel free to come through and view these astounding pieces and vote for your favourite. A few of the artworks can be purchased with information regarding prices within exhibits brochure found at our Front of House Desk. 

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(NAIDOC pieces exhibited at the Hall) 
REFERENCES
Government of Western Australia & Department of Justice. (2017). Our Languages Matter NAIDOC Art Exhibition. Perth, WA.
Australian Government. (2016). NAIDOC Week 2017. Western Australia. http://www.naidoc.org.au/