Arts Centre Melbourne will celebrate the storied culture, country and resilience of First Nations artists and communities in an exciting NAIDOC Week program from 3 – 10 July. Central to this offering is the 2022 NAIDOC theme, GET UP, STAND UP, SHOW UP!, a powerful statement to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as they declare their proud history of getting up, standing up, and showing up each and every day.
Kicking things off on Sunday 3 Julywill be a NAIDOC Week: Sunday Market from 10am – 4pmfeaturing First Nations businesses Clothing The Gaps, Haus of Dizzy, The Koori Circle and many others. Clothing The Gaps have also been given creative freedom to decorate our buildings with powerful imagery and will have eight posters across the Hamer Hall and St Kilda Rd backlits.
Throughout the market day, there will also be a series of FREE, family-friendly workshops in the Hamer Hall Foyer. Mob can join in a bushtukka and feather flower-making workshop with artist Cassie Leatham in collaboration with Craft Victoria or design their own tram art with Jarra Karalinar Steel. For those more musically inclined, there will be hip hop dance workshops with Indigenous Outreach Projects and a songwriting workshop with storyteller, composer, director, producer, musician and soundscape designer Allara. Participants will need to pre-register their interest for each of the workshops.
To round out the opening day of NAIDOC Week, viewers can catch a stream of legendary singer-songwriter Uncle Kutcha Edward’s album launch for his latest release Circling Time. This is Uncle Kutcha’s fifth studio album and was filmed at the invitation only launch in May 2022. The stream will be available from Arts Centre Melbourne’s content hub, Together With You.
Bri Pengarte Apma Hayes’ winning Vic NAIDOC poster design will take pride of place up on Arts Centre Melbourne’s super banner until the end of NAIDOC Week. Each year, Vic NAIDOC run a poster design competitionto find an artist who captures the essence of the year’s theme. Hayes, a 19-year-old emerging Arrernte artist born and raised in Geelong on Waddawurrung country, shares her love and passion for culture through her art by telling stories and showing connections in her works.
From a young age, she watched her father Joel Penagnke Apma Hayes, a renowned Aboriginal artist, and started her own painting journey at the age of 16. Hayes incorporates many different aspects into her paintings using dots and symbols alongside lots of blues and earthy tones.
To accompany this powerful image, First Nations photographers Jacinta Keefe and Tiffany Garvie will also have a selection of their photography on display across the façade of Arts Centre Melbourne.
“My images of Mandy Nicholson and Barkaa show two women of different generations and different approaches to activism in contemporary Australia. Both have the shared experience of living as First Nations women in this country and are powerful, consistent and authentic in the way they use their voices,” said Garvie.
“I chose Archie because he stood up for mob and fought endlessly to get where we are now. I also chose the footy oval where the TREATY For Victoria concert was held because despite the rain and scary as thunderstorm, the show still went on and we all showed up – for mob and treaty,” said Keefe.
Throughout the month of July, the digital projection about the Spirit Eel, Ancestral Memory – created by First Nations interdisciplinary artist Maree Clarke (Mutti Mutti/Yorta Yorta/BoonWurrung/Wamba Wamba) and emerging artist Mitch Mahoney (BoonWurrung/Barkinji) – will weave its way across the façade of Hamer Hall.
For Ancestral Memory, Clarke collaborates with her nephew to tell the mysterious journey of the short-finned eel of the Birrarung and Maribyrnong River systems as it crosses land, river and sea, taking on many forms on its path to maturity. For the peoples of the Kulin Nation the eel is a protector spirit, food source, seasonal marker and timekeeper.
The metaphor of the Spirit Eel connects time and place, a story of resilience and adaptation that has been pushed below the surface but never lost. This work provides First Nations communities with a new connection to the Hamer Hall site honouring their custodianship of the land and gives greater visibility to their cultural heritage.
Other events taking place during NAIDOC Week at Arts Centre Melbourne include MSO + Electric Fields (7 July), MSO + Spinifex Gum (9 July) and Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up & Shake a leg (10 July) a Songlines concert in the Fairfax Studio featuring some of Victoria’s best pop acts and legends including Alice Skye, Aunty Zeta, Bart Willoughby, Dave Arden, Soju Gang, Yung Warriors and the Get Up, Stand Up, Sing it Up Choir.