On 3 June, Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach will welcome representatives of the Yugumbeh Aboriginal tribe as guests of honour at a private event to celebrate the launch of its new Aboriginal art gallery and inaugural exhibition titled, The Sofitel Journey Into Dreamtime.
Created and curated in partnership with The Desert Art Centre Gallery, the exhibition will open to the public from Saturday 4 June and feature across the expansive first and second levels of the hotel.
As part of the official launch event, Yugumbeh Elders (who hail from the lingual district territory between the Logan and Albert Rivers of the Northern Gold Coast corridor) will unveil the hotel’s reconciliation acknowledgement plaque.
The plaque honours the traditional custodians of the land upon which the Sofitel sits and pays respect to Elders past, present and emerging. The ceremony will start with an official welcome to country for guests.
Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach general manager Amery Burleigh said the new gallery and exhibition were originally conceived to help Sofitel commemorate National Reconciliation Week, which takes place from 27 May to June 3.
“We have had an art space on the hotel’s lobby level for some time, but we wanted to transform our other public spaces specifically with local and national Aboriginal art, so decided to open a dedicated gallery for this purpose,” said Amery.
“We thought National Reconciliation Week was an appropriate occasion to celebrate the opening, and specifically June the 3rd which also happens to be the 25th anniversary of Mabo Day. Of course our broader vision in this creative space is to raise awareness and an appreciation for Indigenous art all year round for our many hotel guests that pass by.”
The Sofitel Journey Into Dreamtime showcase acknowledges and celebrates the Indigenous tribes that choose to tell their stories through art and culture.
The original exhibition will feature 11 renowned Indigenous artists from across Western Australia and the Northern Territory including George ‘Hairbrush’ Tjungurrayi; Murdie (Maudie) Nampijinpa Morris; Tommy Watson; and Tjawina Porter Nampitjinpa (aka Mrs Porter) who is a half-sister to the late Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa (Mrs Bennett), one of Australia’s most respected Indigenous artists and full sister to senior artist Esther Giles Nampitjinpa, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa.
Artwork will remain on display indefinitely, with The Desert Centre replacing and rotating art periodically in the future. Jason Passfield will feature as the local Aboriginal Artist.