The newest gallery for Sydney is the Granville Centre Art Gallery which announced today it will open to the public on November 5 with its inaugural exhibition titled Ngaliya Diyam, meaning We are here. Darug are here, Aboriginal peoples are here – they never left.

Co-curated by Dennis Golding and Rebekah Raymond, Ngaliya Diyam (˜We are Here’ in Darug language) celebrates strength and resilience through the art of local Darug artists and artists from other language groups and nations who call Darug nura home. The exhibition highlights stories of Country, and the many cultural identities and practices of Darug peoples.

Ngaliya Diyam is an incredibly important exhibition to open the Granville Centre Art Gallery. First Nations, and in particular Darug nura, stories and culture are integral to the history of Granville and the wider Australia said Talia Smith – Arts Programs Officer and Curatorial Support for the Granville Centre Art Gallery.

It is comprised primarily of new works commissioned by the gallery for the exhibition by artists Aunty Esme Timbery, Aunty Marilyn Russell, Nadeena Dixon, Jannawi Dance Clan, Lucy Simpson, Shay Tobin and Kirra Weingarth. The exhibiting artists’ cultural practices and artistic expressions range from weaving, ceremonial and contemporary dance, photography, installation,
drawing, painting and ceramics.

This exhibition celebrates strength, truth and self-determination through beauty and the everlasting connection to Country. We are excited to share the diverse offering of the artists’ practices with the wider community. said Co-curator Dennis Golding.

Darug nura stretches from the coast to the mountains, with the artists featured in Ngaliya Diyam living across these varied landscapes. Senior artist and Bidjigal Elder Esme Timbery lives on her Country in the community of La Perouse, and her celebrated practice uses sea shells collected from the coastlines of her Country. In Ngaliya Diyam, she is joined by her daughter Aunty Marilyn Russell and their combined artworks showcase the intergenerational knowledge passed down between generations of Bidjigal women.

Other works for Ngaliya Diyam include paintings by Shay Tobin, weavings from coconut fibre and twine by Nadeena Dixon, an installation by Lucy Simpson and indigenous lighting artifacts by Kirra Weingarth.

By declaring Ngaliya Diyam, ‘We are Here’, “the exhibition asserts the presence and resilience of Darug peoples and all Aboriginal language groups who now call Darug nura home,” said Co-curator Rebekah Raymond.

Ngaliya Diyam celebrates the unerring sovereignty of Darug peoples for Darug nura.

The use of Darug language as the exhibition title Ngaliya Diyam comes from the curators’ ongoing collaboration with the local community, in particular the working group formed from meetings with the Cumberland City Council Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Committee. The exhibition would not be possible without the collaborative relationship and support of the local Darug community.

“We’re thrilled to be opening the Granville Centre Art Gallery at the heart of a vibrant and thriving community in Granville and the wider Cumberland area. This new place of contemporary arts practice will engage and infuse local communities into everything we do. Opening the Granville Centre Art Gallery as a place of culture, we’re inspired to be doing so with Ngaliya Diyam, taking stock, and drawing inspiration from the cultural resilience and inclusiveness of Cumberland’s First Peoples,” Michael Brown, Gallery Director said.

Ngaliya Diyam is the inaugural exhibition at Granville Centre Art Gallery and is presented by Cumberland City Council. The gallery program will be supported with public programming and workshops to be announced.

Granville Centre Art Gallery is located at The Granville Centre (1 Memorial Drive, Granville) and will open to the public with Ngaliya Diyam from November 6 with a community open day on November 7.