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Celebrating 25 years of Aboriginal art exhibitions at Parliament House

Celebrating 25 years of Aboriginal art exhibitions at Parliament House

The 'Reconciliation Wall' at NSW Parliament House is a unique space for showcasing the works of Aboriginal artists and exhibitors from across NSW, and this year marks the very special occasion of its 25th anniversary.

Across the past 25 years, the Reconciliation Wall has been home to an ever-engaging program of new, beautiful and honest exhibitions that are free for all members of the community to enjoy – and  it all started back in 1998, when artists from the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative became the very first Reconciliation Wall exhibitors.

In honour of the 25th anniversary, the Boomalli group returns with new exhibition Restoration of Truth, which will fill the Reconciliation Wall and the Parliament's broader Fountain Court exhibition space from now through January 2024.

"Boomalli is proud to present this exhibition, which includes over 40 works by the co-operative's founding members and current artist members, representing the breadth of the talent and diversity of NSW Aboriginal artists," Boomalli curator Kyra Kum-Sing said.

"The exhibition restores the artistic voices of NSW Aboriginal people in a historically colonial space, by amplifying the stories of our artists, their families and their communities. It’s important that we restore the truth of this country’s history, so the next generation can thrive."

President of the NSW Legislative the Hon Ben Franklin said it's truly special to have Boomalli exhibiting in honour of the Reconciliation Wall anniversary.

"It's fitting that Boomalli means 'to strike; to make a mark' in Bundjalung, Gamilaroi and Wiradjuri language, because Boomalli's founders did just that when they helped launched our Reconciliation Wall exhibition program 25 years ago," said Mr Franklin. "We're honoured to have this new exhibition on display to commemorate the anniversary."

The Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly, the Hon Greg Piper, agreed.

"The Reconciliation Wall is an important and visible part of the Parliament's commitment to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people," Mr Piper said. "Across the year it  showcases vibrant and sometimes sobering works, and Boomalli's latest exhibition is an incredibly \meaningful one."

Restoration of Truth is proudly hosted at Parliament by Member for Balmain Kobi Shetty.

"I am thrilled to be hosting this important exhibition that showcases these thought-provoking designs by First Nations artists,” Ms Shetty said. “We are at a pivotal juncture on the journey towards reconciliation, and it’s vital that spaces like this are made available to allow First Nations creators to share their stories."

How to see the exhibition

Visit the exhibition at NSW Parliament House on weekdays​, 9am to 5pm through to the end of January 2024. ​The Parliament is currently undergoing restoration works but remains open to the public. Access is to the left of the building via the security gatehouse. Visitors ​can follow the signage​ into the building and take either the stairs or lift to the Fountain Court exhibition space. 

Please note that the exhibition will be closed from 23 December, reopening Monday 8 January 2024.

Virtual exhibition

Those unable to see the exhibition in person can view the artworks via the virtual gallery below.