The aMBUSH art gallery, a new facet of the ANU’s $260 million Kambri precinct, will open tonight, 23 May, with an exhibition timed perfectly in the lead up to National Reconciliation Week.
Their culturally significant inaugural exhibition, While You Were Sleeping, will feature works by contemporary First Nations artists from across Australia.
It will profile and celebrate 14 emerging and established Indigenous artists, with works traversing several genres, including painting, illustration, sculpture, film, photography and mixed media.
Co-founded in 2007 and run by Bill Dimas and John Wiltshire, aMBUSH is a gallery and social enterprise that has been at the forefront of curating and producing public arts programming and projects across the country.
Their first exhibition at their new space ignited the aMBUSH Gallery team’s desire to curate and produce an event showcasing some of the country’s best talent.
“We wanted to honour the name Kambri, which means ‘meeting place’ in the local First Nations language, so we saw this as an opportunity for our first show to unite some of the artists we’ve previously worked with alongside other artists who are new to aMBUSH,” says Dimas.
“This gives audiences a snapshot of the powerful, cutting-edge artworks produced by some of Australia’s established and emerging First Nations artists.”
The launch party will be held tonight, 23 May, with a Welcome to Country ceremony at 6.30pm and music from Canberra-based DJ, Joanne Leong.
Dimas says the aMBUSH team are keen to collaborate with students, academics and the broader Canberra community.
“It’s a dynamic and unique opportunity having an art gallery on campus,” he says. “We’ll add a different dimension to student life, and bring the outside world into contact. It will create working relationships and lots of wonderful things will happen from that interaction.”
While You Were Sleeping will be on display at aMBUSH Gallery at Kambri, ANU from 23 May to 23 June; ambushgallery.com