CAMPBELLTOWN Arts Centre kicked off its latest exhibition with a talk about the concerns facing Aboriginal artists in NSW.

Ngadhu, Ngulili, Ngeaninyagu was launched last month by activist, actor and writer Gary Foley.

He spoke at the first Black2Blak2 conference about the importance for indigenous Australians to know their history. “The message I have for young artists, is it’s important for all of us as black fellas to be very conscious of the history which we came from,” he said. “Indigenous people [should] have a more critical analysis of what’s going on.”

Mr Foley, who helped set up the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra in the 1970s and has served on the Aboriginal Arts Board, said today’s indigenous youth needed to speak out.

“People of my generation were not acting in isolation,” he said. “It’s important you know your history. Too often those who reckon they know their history are taught from books written by white fellas. [We need] to be making our own stories.”

The challenge, he said, was for the new generation to do some thinking instead of drinking.

Arts centre indigenous curator Djon Mundine said the exhibition was “about artists who can come together and talk in a relaxed manner and in plain English”.

Ngadhu, Ngulili, Ngeaninyagu is at the Campbelltown Arts Centre. It includes a selection of artworks, a film program and workshops