2024 Dobell Exhibition Grants Announced

Museums & Galleries of NSW is pleased to announce the Dobell Exhibition Grants recipients for 2024. There were strong exhibition proposals from public and regional galleries across NSW, offering two categories of support, $10,000 and $30,000. Very strong exhibition proposals were received for a wide range of exhibition projects.

The exhibitions supported are:

Grafton Regional Gallery  – Bundjalung Weavers: Bulaan Buruugaa Ngali… we weave together – $30,000

Bundjalung Weavers: Bulaan Buruugaa Ngali presents new work by contemporary Bundjalung First Nations artists responding to their great grandmothers’ artistry of weaving alongside historic woven objects from the collection of the Australian Museum. In collaboration with Arts Northern Rivers, the exhibition will launch in late 2024 at Grafton Regional Gallery, travelling on to Lismore Regional Gallery and Tweed Regional Gallery on Bundjalung Country in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.

Twenty-one meticulously coiled and twined bags by Bundjalung women have been held by the Australian Museum since 1879, collected from the banks of the Richmond and Clarence Rivers between 1875 and 1895 – Bulaan Buruugaa Ngali is an opportunity to return these rarely seen bags to Country and exhibit them alongside contemporary works, bringing together generations of weavers and reclaiming and strengthening knowledge of traditional weaving practices. Some of the contemporary weavers featured in this exhibition are descendants of the original makers, representing generational reconnection across time and place.

The exhibition builds on the research and writings of Bundjalung Weavers: Bulaan Buruugaa Ngali… we weave together publication by Arts Northern Rivers launched at the 2023 Byron Bay Writers Festival. This comprehensive publication captures the life stories of revered Elders and weavers; documents the history of ancestral collections in museums across Australia and internationally; and explores knowledge of traditional plant species and harvesting techniques practiced for generations. The rich research and writings of its contributors Melissa Lukashenko, Rhoda Roberts AM, Sita McAlpine, and Kylie Caldwell will form the basis of the exhibition featuring new work by local weavers.

Maitland Regional Art Gallery – Small Museum – $10,000

Small Museum is an exhibition featuring photographs and interviews of 41 small museums and their caretakers across rural Australia, created by Hunter-based photographer Simone Rosenbauer. To coincide with this exhibition, Maitland Regional Art Gallery will commission four contemporary artists to develop artistic interventions that respond to surrounding historical collections. These commissions will become a catalyst for dialogue, understanding, and appreciation of the invaluable role that small museums play in shaping the nation’s identity, and how they can be re-examined and reinterpreted through a contemporary visual lens.

Small Museum will include a participatory activation, allowing audiences to ‘curate’ their own historical collection using objects found by Simone Rosenbauer. The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of multidisciplinary interventions in the Gallery space by the four responding artists as well as a suite of programs including youth focused workshops, arts and health programs, and digital video engagement tools.

Read more about the Dobell Exhibitions Grant Program here