Hazelhurst Arts Centre exhibition wins 2019 IMAGinE award

Prestigious award: Hazelhurst Arts Centre chairman Byron Hurst, with the centre's director Belinda Hanrahan and NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin.
Prestigious award: Hazelhurst Arts Centre chairman Byron Hurst, with the centre's director Belinda Hanrahan and NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin.

Hazelhurst Arts Centre has won a prestigious award for an exhibition that brought together Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian artists.

Hazelhurst received a 2019 IMAGinE award from Museums & Galleries of NSW for the exhibition, Weapons for the Soldier: Protecting Country, Culture and Family.

Initiated by the young men of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, the exhibition examined complex themes of weaponry, warfare and protecting country by presenting a unique dialogue around multigeographical and multi-generational fights for land, country and culture, and how they relate to resistance, resilience and keeping culture strong.

The exhibition featured 52 artworks and was accompanied by videos of artist interviews, a family trail, exhibition tours, a launch with Anangu performances, artist talks, story time, workshops and an Art Engage dementia group.

It was the second major partnership involving the centre and APY Art Centre Collective and the first project created by Anangu, which empowers young men to connect with their peers and shape their futures through artistic collaboration and curation.

Visitors provided an overwhelmingly positive response to the exhibition and noted the impact of the artists' thought-provoking and powerful messages of resilience, strength and reconciliation.

The IMAGinE awards recognise innovation and excellence at more than 500 museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres across NSW.