This month Warangesda: Deep Waters will open at the Griffith Regional Art Gallery. The exhibition examines the history and legacy of the Warangesda Mission at Darlington Point, a significant cultural site for the Wiradjuri People. This is a partnership project between Western Riverina Arts, the Griffith Regional Art Gallery and National Parks and Wildlife Service, in collaboration with the Aboriginal Medical Centre, Murrumbidgee Shire Council, Waddi Housing and Leeton & District Local Aboriginal Land Council and Youth Off the Streets.
Local Wiradjuri elder Aunty Heather Edwards commented on the importance of the project: ‘I’m really looking forward to seeing the exhibition of both the Warangesda Artefacts and the contemporary art based on the site. It’s such an important site for local Aboriginal people and beyond. We’ve even got people from Brisbane coming to see the show. I’m very glad there has been a recent interested in Warangesda Mission and its legacy.’
Warangesda: Deep Waters consists of two distinct components that work together in honouring this significant site. The first component, driven by Western Riverina Arts is an exhibition of contemporary art created by artists from across the Wiradjuri catchment. Over the past year Aboriginal artists have been participating in workshops and visiting Warangesda, reacting to the remains of the original Mission site and pondering their personal connections to the surrounding landscape while creating new works.
The second part of the project, driven by National Parks and Wildlife Service is an exhibition of historical information and relics from the Mission from various collections across the Western Riverina. This component contains historical information produced by Dr Peter Kabala, Historian and authority on the history of the Warangesda mission.
Both components of the exhibition endeavour to showcase the history, significance and ongoing legacy of the Warangesda site. The exhibition will be a point of reflection for anyone related to former residence of the Mission or anyone interested in contemporary Aboriginal art or the history if the Western Riverina.
There is a number of events coinciding with the exhibition. Firstly on Friday the 16th of June at 6pm there will be an opening for the contemporary art exhibition with special guest Elizabeth Rogers, CEO of Regional Arts NSW. The event is free and all are welcome to attend. On Thursday the 6th of July at 6pm there will be NAIDOC week celebration encompassing both the historical and contemporary art components.