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Exhibition to showcase local Aboriginal art

5 December 2023

The North East Water Aboriginal Art Prize has returned for 2023, with this year’s artworks now on display at Burraja Culture Centre in Wodonga.

The biennial exhibition showcases work from more than a dozen local artists with a theme of ‘Water’.

North East Water Managing Director, Jo Murdoch, said the exhibition is in partnership with Murray Arts and Burraja Gallery, and highlights the cultural importance of water in our lives.

“This is our fifth art prize since 2017 and the event is an amazing opportunity to partner with our local Aboriginal communities”, Ms Murdoch said. 

“Our organisation is on a journey to create a deeper connection with Traditional Owners, to increase our knowledge and understanding of their culture, traditions and life experiences.

Ms Murdoch added, “We have again selected a beautiful piece to be put on permanent display at our headquarters in Wodonga.”

“The quality and diversity of all the work demonstrates the incredible talent of artists from across the north-east Victora and Border region.

“A total of three prizes have been awarded this year, with the North East Catchment Management Authority and the Australian Gas Industry Group also purchasing artwork.

Murray Arts Executive Director, Lauren Black, said the North East Water Art Prize is a significant partnership project for Murray Arts.

“As the care takers of Burraja Gallery, the region’s only dedicated local Aboriginal Arts Gallery, we are well equipped to support the ongoing development of this important art prize”. Ms Black said. 

Art Prize Curator, Glennys Briggs, said the artwork submitted tells stories of our connections to land, water and to country.

“They are powerful and poignant statements around local Aboriginal identity”, Ms Briggs said.

Three prizes have been awarded this year:

  • Where the River Flows by Kelly Lock (Boandik Nation) – purchased by North East Water
  • Kinship Spirit Flowers by Dr Treahna Hamm (Yorta Yorta) – purchased by NECMA
  • Murra Way by Darren Wighton (Wiradjuri) purchased by AGIG Australian Gas Infrastructure Group

Artist Kelly Lock (Boandik Nation) with North East Water Chair Stephen Brown and Managing Director Jo Murdoch. Art: Where the River Flows (North East Water Art Prize winner 2023)

The exhibition is open between 10am and 4pm at the Burraja Cultural Centre on Gateway Island from Tuesday 5 December to Friday 15 December 2023.