Photographs from the Interpretations Launch

Heritage Week 2008 was officially launched last night at the John Paynter Gallery, the lockup Museum. The magnificent Interpretations exhibition featuring the works of 25 local artists that have been inspired by Newcastle’s historic Coal River Precint has resulted in an exciting display of paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, ceramics and mixed media.

Geraldine Bobsien, Manager of the John Paynter Gallery and Lockup thanked the support of the University of Newcastle’s Professor Kevin McConkey DVC (Academic) and the Board of Trustees, and curators of the exhibition.

The Exhibition was launched by ‘man about town’ Gionni Di Gravio, University Archivist and Chair of the Coal River Working Party. With two traditional welcomes to country, one by Dene Hawken of the Awabakal Tradition Owners Aboriginal Corporation (ATOAC) and a ‘silent’ one from Gionni, the night was inaugurated in a mysterious way. Inspirations, many visions mean freedom, imposed vision is tyranny, meaning of ‘heritage’ – to inherit, causes us to ponder what has been bestowed to us from previous generations, and what we will bestow to the next. Finally he called for Newcastle to cease being the ‘binge drinking capital of Australia’, and become rather, the ‘binge thinking capital’ instead.

The Coal River Heritage Precinct walking tours were also officially launched at the function. They literally ran out the door, making them fastest disappearing ‘walks’ in history.

Interpretations: Coal River Precinct will run from Friday 4 – 20 April 2008.

Walking Tour will depart from the Lockup, Sunday 6 April 2-4pm. Free.

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