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Remarkable Newy exhibition in running for national award

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An exhibition that was shown at the Newcastle Art Gallery needs Novocastrians to jump online and vote to help it take out an Australian honour.

WARWAR: The Art of Torres Strait is a contender in the National Awards for Local Government’s Promoting Indigenous Recognition category.

Torres Strait Islander Toby Cedar, one of the artists who featured in the exhibit, said earlier in the year the installation “explained everything” from the beginning until now. 

“I am very proud to be a part of it and to teach my kids and the next generation of people about our culture,” he stated before its official opening. 

And, Newcastle Art Gallery director Lauretta Morton is rapt about the recent recognition of WARWAR: The Art of Torres Strait, saying “it’s fantastic to be nominated”.

“It’s really exciting and it is wonderful for the team,” she explained.

Lauretta added the exhibition had been in the making for several years.

“I had this idea four years ago and people thought I was mad,” she said.

“They asked: ‘why would you have an exhibition on the Torres Strait outside of Queensland or the Torres Strait?’

“But, we have some incredible artists who live locally, so it was great to be able to showcase them.

“It covered every part of the culture and is by far the most significant exhibition we’ve had in Newcastle.”

Close to 15,000 people attended the landmark event, despite it closing about three weeks early due to COVID lockdowns.

“We’re thrilled that so many people came to the gallery,” Lauretta said.

“It’s been remarkable, the comments we’ve received have been wonderful, I’ve even been sent some hand written letters about it.”

Voting is open until this Friday (10 December), so you’ll need to get in quick to show your support. 

Late last month the exhibition was also named as the winner of the Museums & Galleries of NSW IMAGinE Award for Medium Organisation Exhibition Project. 

This was the first time Newcastle Art Gallery had been the overall winner of their category. 

“To win the IMAGinE Award was incredible,” Lauretta said.

“It’s such a wonderful accolade, I’m pretty sure everyone could hear us screaming when we won the award.”

To vote for WARWAR: The Art of Torres Strait, go to the National Awards for Local Government website.

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