THE federal government has provided nearly $20,000 worth of funding for Tamworth’s art gallery to implement its Changing Face of the Peel project.
Tamworth Regional Gallery director Bridget Guthrie was “really excited” about the project receiving government support.
The Australian government’s support would provide $19,867 to the gallery for the public art project, which would illustrate the role of the Peel River in various cultures and how its use has changed over time.
Ms Guthrie said there would be three arms to the project, which would be an indoor exhibition at the gallery, outdoor public artworks and an augmented reality set-up along the banks of the river.
“There would be signage or storyboards along the river that would feature ‘trigger images’,” Ms Guthrie said.
“People would be able to hover their smartphone over the trigger image and be linked to video of someone giving more information about significant points of the river.”
The gallery director said there would be an expression-of-interest process to gather the Peel River-based artworks.
The gallery aimed to have the multi-pronged exhibition ready for the 2017 country music festival, to capitalise on the influx of cultural tourists who would be in the region.
Community member Len Waters said the project would present an opportunity to show a remarkable correlation between Aboriginal and settler cultures.
Mr Waters said indigenous communities were “very supportive” of early settlement in the area.
He said Aboriginal communities would help settlers “to start out”, and had shown them how to clean dirty water, how to track and how to treat illnesses.
Ms Guthrie said art would be a great medium to tell these stories and provide a general education for locals and visitors.
Minister for the Arts, Senator Mitch Fifield, said the government was committed to providing equal access to and participation in the arts by and for people across regional and remote Australia.
The announcement was part of more than $1.2 million for 85 arts and cultural projects announced across regional Australia through the Regional Arts Fund.