‘Women Out Front’ is an exhibition coming to the Outback Arts gallery in Coonamble. It is a culmination of the work Signal Creative and Outback Arts have been doing with young women in the towns of Warren and Walgett over the last 2 years as part of the program ‘Women Out Front’ and ‘Creative Women’s Week’. The official opening will be taking place next Thursday 15 August, 12pm-2pm with High School students coming along from Warren, Walgett and Coonamble. The exhibition will be on display until 20 September.
The exhibition will feature some amazing gowns, beautiful printed photos and textiles as well as a large collaborative wall hanging, it’s going to be beautiful and really shine a light on the talented, young female artists in the region. The program has also included performances that have been presented in Warren from the young women at Warren Central School. The movement piece was called ‘Drylands Wetlands’ which features sounds of the Tiger Bay Wetlands and original costume and set pieces made by the students inspired by the Wetlands.
In Walgett, a similar range of works were created by the Sista Speak students, named River Stories. The students explored the significance of the river to their community and the stories that have been passed down through generations. Creative dresses designed by the group and photos, were exhibited in the Walgett Library and in the pavilion at the Walgett Show. Both the Warren and Walgett communities have been moved by the works created and are excited to see how the program will progress.
Signal Creative has exhibited some of the work on their website and delivered a podcast about their time in Walgett which is available on iTunes and Spotify. In June this year, Signal Creative with support from 2 Rivers and Outback Arts ran a weeklong program called ‘Creative Women’s Week’ the Women Out Front exhibition also features work during that week.
Fleur Stubbs, Aboriginal Projects Officer for Outback Arts, who is based in Warren says “receiving funding that accommodates a more long-term approach such as this three-year program allows a lasting impact to be made on participants. Multiple visits by Signal Creative builds a trusting, nurturing environment where women can feel comfortable and grow in their personal confidence and explore different creative practices.”
The Women Out Front project has been supported by Outback Arts and the Commbank Grassroots Grant Program. The exhibition has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts. Outback Arts and Signal Creative are exploring funding opportunities to expand the program across the region.