Fresh Water Festival to launch in April

Credit - Market Stall at the MMIAA 2020 event, courtesy of the BHRAG.jpg

Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery, Biennale of Sydney, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales will join forces in April to stage a free local festival celebrating Indigenous art and culture.

‘Fresh Water: Festival for the Barka’ will be held at the GeoCentre on April 9 to announce winners of the 2022 Maari Ma Indigenous Art Awards (MMIAA22), and to acknowledge the inclusion of Uncle Badger Bates and Wilcannia students in the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, rivus.

The celebration of First Nations Communities along the Barka-Darling will showcase artistic and cultural practices from the region through music, dance, art and food.

Two guest judges will be in attendance for the MMIAA22 announcement, including Liam Keenan (Gomeroi) and Talara Ingram (Wiradjuri/Anaiwan).

Mr Keenan is currently Assistant Programs Producer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the Art Gallery of NSW, and has extensive experience as a studio assistant, working closely with artists such as Tracey Moffatt, Esme Timbery and Jonathan Jones.

Meanwhile Ms Ingram serves as Indigenous Educator at the Art Gallery of NSW, and has assisted in the delivery of the Djamu Regional – Barkandji Canoe Project, Djamu Junior, Art Pathways and Home Education Program.

The winning entries in MMIAA22 along with a host of other entries will be on display in the Geocentre Hall throughout the night.

The GeoCentre garden will offer a chance for attendees to relax and connect, with live musical performances from Leroy Johnson and the Waterbag Band, and Nancy Bates.

Barkindji/Malyangappa song writer and ranger, Leroy Johnson, will join his band in bringing campfire storytelling and music to the stage, while Barkindji songwoman Nancy Bates provide soulful, moving songs highlighting the transformative power of love over pain, and what it means to be a woman in the 21st century.

The show will be complemented by art and craft stalls from First Nations vendors, and free snacks and non-alcoholic refreshments will be served on the night.

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