New exhibition celebrates First Nations Elders

Media release

A new exhibition has opened at the First Nations gallery Djaa Djuwima to celebrate the contributions made by Elders and their unique connections to community and Country.

Listening to our Elders brings together First Nations artists and Elders connected to the Bendigo region who are highly regarded for their shared knowledge and storytelling.

Bendigo Venues and Events Arts Officer, First Nations Janet Bromley said the free exhibition was a new way for local and regional stories from Elders to be passed down to emerging generations.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Elders who have contributed to this exhibition and for sharing their wonderful insights,” Ms Bromley said.

“Many Elders used to be a voice in the community but due to COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, many have understandably retreated to their homes to protect their health which means we do not get to see them as much as we used to and that’s a great shame.

“Through face to face interviews, photography and videos at their homes, this exhibition is an opportunity to celebrate their contribution to the community and Country.

“The Elders carry the memories of what life was like for them, growing up on Country with stories being passed down from their parents and grandparents’ generations.

“In the lead up to Reconciliation Week, this is a timely reminder of the importance to hold on to knowledge from respected Elders in the community.

“Elders share how things used to be done, the meanings behind cultural activities and ceremonies, practices for looking after Country, dances and their own remarkable stories spanning two centuries.

As part of the exhibition, some Elders have selected First Nations artworks or objects that they cherish at home which they have either made themselves or have been given. 

By doing so, they celebrate their connection to art and artmaking which is embedded in First Nations culture and explain why the pieces are important to them.

The official opening is taking place at 5pm this afternoon, Thursday May 11. 

Listening to our Elders is the second exhibition at Djaa Djuwima located in the Bendigo Visitor Centre on Pall Mall. The exhibition is open 9am to 5pm every day until October.

Greater Bendigo