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Image: Frances Belle Parker, Sandon, 2008, lino reduction print on archival paper. From the Grafton Regional Gallery Collection


The next round of exhibitions at the Grafton Regional Gallery open this weekend with a celebration creativity from the Northern Rivers region and a showcase of works from the Grafton Regional Gallery collection. The opening celebration will be officiated by Clarence Valley Mayor, Dr Ian Tiley at a celebration from 3-5pm on Saturday 30 April with a Welcome to Country by Aunty Robyne Bancroft. Exhibitions will be on show until 3 July.

Riverstones and Ramifications: Bronwyn Bancroft

Image: Bronwyn Bancroft, From the Hands of My Ancestors (Series of 8), 2015, acrylic on archival paper. Photography by Fine Art Imaging, Balmain, courtesy of the artist.

This exhibition by Bronwyn Bancroft celebrates the life and deep connection between Bronwyn and Uncle Pat Bancroft, who died at the age of 94 in 2015. Uncle Pat was her mentor, who shared his knowledge of country with Bronwyn and bequeathed his collection of stones, which includes axes, pocketknives, flints, crystals, and calcite samples. Some of these stones are thousands of years old and are part of Bronwyn’s family’s legacy. As an artist Bronwyn has dedicated her life to exploring and recording her family and their history, while weaving her own story as a Bundjalung woman, mother, and artist into this history. She is in awe of her family history, and the fact that her family has lived in the same spot since colonisation is to be admired. She has a powerful urge to document this enduring link that speaks to the tenacity of her family.

Self: A Northern Rivers Creative Group show featuring the work of Xanthe Dobbie, Stephen Garrett, Laith McGregor, Antoinette O’Brien, Fabian Pertzel, Joe Swepson

This exhibition aims to participate in important and ongoing global conversations through varied gestures, expressions, and understandings of gender. Using the lens of their own experiences, artists are contributing works that expand upon or challenge existing understandings of gender from social, political, or cultural perspectives. Works exploring gender performance, identity or how gender informs the way we experience the world are also included.

The Green Room: Works from the collection

Curated by local first nations artist, Frances Belle-Parker, The Green Room draws out hidden treasures from the gallery collection. This exhibition looks to the colour green as a point of reference and shows how artists have used the colour across varied mediums and approaches, to serve different aesthetic and conceptual purposes. Belle-Parker’s has brought together works from local artists and rarely seen paintings, prints and sculptures spanning the gallery’s collecting history.

Gesture: Works from the collection
The figure is a perennial subject within art. This collection exhibition explores how artists use the figure and specifically, body language and gestures to communicate ideas about the broader human experience. Whether slumped shoulders, crossed arms or a proud chin held up high, Gesture looks closely at the way bodies can express emotions and ideas without words.

Gallery Director, Dr Niomi Sands said “We are thrilled to host Riverstones and Ramifications featuring the work of Bundjalung Artist Bronwyn Bancroft alongside a fabulous selection of works by Artists from the Northern Rivers Region. These works provide an exciting array of creativity to inspire everyone’s Autumn at the Gallery.”