Damian Smith, Arrellah (video still detail) 2014, digital video (with Kate Duhamel, duration 3:12 mins), acrylic paint on canvas, courtesy the artist and San Jose Museum of Art CA, USA © the artist

You may have seen Hunter Red advertised by several art galleries recently and wondering what it is all about. No it’s not referring to the Hunter ‘good drop’, it is a suite of exhibitions representing a collaborative partnership between Hunter-based cultural institutions: Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, The Lock-Up, Maitland Regional Art Gallery and Newcastle Art Gallery.

The project will launch over the weekend of May 25, 26 and 27 and involve a whole host of program across 6 to 8 weeks.

The four galleries are presenting Hunter Red: Re(A)d Earth from May 26 to July 22, 2018.

Re(A)d Earth curator, Donna Biles Fernando, developed the exhibition in consultation with the Aboriginal Reference Group. She contends, ‘connection to Country remains central and enduring in Aboriginal culture regardless of the complexities entrenched by government policies since colonisation.’

In developing the show, Donna said, “Re(A)d Earth presents contemporary Aboriginal artists’ perspectives on this connection and acknowledges ‘reading’ of the earth as elemental for Aboriginal people. Building on the strength of existing cultural foundations and knowledge in the region, the exhibition comprises many artworks selected for their reflection of Country, or Dreaming, of the respective artists.”

Re(A)d Earth draws together international, national and Hunter-based Aboriginal practitioners including Doug Archibald, Nicole Chaffey, Megan Cope, Saretta Fielding, Sally Gabori, Jonathan Jones, Yhonnie Scarce, Damian Smith, Freddie Timms and many more. Works are sourced from Hunter collections, through new commissioned and through private loans.


You are invited to join Lake Macquarie Gallery on Sunday, May 27 for the exhibition opening of Hunter Red: Re(A)d Earth, over the launch weekend of Hunter Red. The celebrations begin at 2.30pm with a Stomping Ground, live music, children’s art making activities, bush tucker and a series of short artist talks hosted by exhibition curator Donna Biles Fernando. This is a free event. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to visit each of the opening celebrations at each of the other Hunter Red venues.

Newcastle Art Gallery: Corpus, evening of May 25
The Lock-Up:  Seeing Red, afternoon of May 26
Maitland Regional Art Gallery: Razzamatazz, morning of May 27