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The Gallery of New South Wales' Wednesday evening events program, Art After Hours, features four celebrity talks complementing the landmark indigenous exhibition Crossing Country: the alchemy of western Arnhem Land art.

Relating the work in Crossing Country to their own experiences, Wesley Enoch (20 October), Dr Anita Heiss (27 October), Leah Purcell (3 November) and David Page (10 November), will talk on the evolving presence of Indigenous culture in some of today's storytelling mediums including visual and performing arts, film and literature.

In addition to these talks detailed below, Art After Hours comprises many more events including, Indigenous performer Emma Donovan in the ArtBar, a film program, gallery collection talks and guided tours of temporary exhibitions.

Wesley Enoch 

20 October Indigenous Storytelling
Wesley Enoch
, Indigenous playwright and director

Indigenous people use many art forms to tell their stories, both as an extension of traditional cultural practice and to express the political needs of their people. In the absence of a written culture, the arts have been paramount in recording Indigenous history, law and survival. Through theatre, dance, song and visual art the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are being written onto the public record.

Dr Anita Heiss

27 October Culture=Art=Life=Politics
Dr Anita Heiss
, Indigenous author

In a broad-ranging talk that encompasses the 'four biggies' of Indigenous life in this country - culture, art, life and politics, Anita Heiss, one of Australia's most prolific Indigenous writers of fiction and non-fiction will give her take on the issues that affect Indigenous people in contemporary Australia - and she promises to do it all in rhyme!

Leah Purcell

3 November The Art of Being Aboriginal
Leah Purcell
, Indigenous author, actor, singer, director

Author, actor, singer, director and 'Black Chick' Leah Purcell shares her own artistic journey by combining the role of cultural activist with personal experience. This mix of influences can be seen in her plays and stories - all of great theatrical power and presence. Leah Purcell not only tells her story but that of others like her. Stage productions and books include Box the Pony and Black Chicks Talking. Film and television roles include Police Rescue, Bran Nue Dae, Lantana and most recently, Somersault.

David Page

10 November Sound and Story
David Page
, Indigenous actor, composer, Bangarra Dance Theatre

Signed to Atlantic Records at the age of 13, David Page, composer, actor and singer will talk about his extraordinary career: from Countdown and The Paul Hogan Show to his current role as composer for Bangarra Dance Theatre. Direct from his autobiographical solo show at Belvoir Street Theatre, Page 8, David will retrace his journey with a mixture of story telling, music and song.

At 7.30pm, Indigenous singer Emma Donovan will perform live with guitarist Allan Morris in the ArtBar. Originally from Northern NSW, Emma Donovan has sung with and alongside many of the most well respected Indigenous performers including: Archie Roach, Rubie Hunter, Christine Anu, Tiddas, Yothu Yindi, Jimmy Little and Troy Cassar-Daley. Drawing her influences from many genres such as country, soul, gospel, and reggae, Emma has set about developing her sound and songs with her first debut solo album Changes coming out next month.

At 7.15pm, visitors can enjoy a film from the Gallery's free program of cinema curated by Robert Herbert. Highlights include Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas (1984) and Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout (1971).

A great place to enjoy a glass of wine and stunning vista of Woolloomooloo Bay is the Gallery's ArtBar. For the Crossing Country Art After Hours series, the menu will comprise a range of light evening meals with bush tucker themes.

At 7.30pm, you can enjoy a guided tour of temporary exhibitions or alternatively explore the Gallery's permanent collection with floor talks by Gallery curators, educators and conservators at 5.30pm.

All events free (Admission charges apply for some exhibitions.)

Wednesday 20 October
5.30pm Floor talk Ken Watson, Assistant Curator Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art
6.30pm Celebrity talk Wesley Enoch Indigenous Storytelling
7.15pm Film Walkabout (Dir: Nicolas Roeg 1971)
7..30pm Emma Donovan in the ArtBar
7.30pm Guided tour of Crossing Country

Wednesday 27 October
5.30pm Floor talk Jonathan Jones, Co-ordinator Aboriginal programs.
6.30pm Celebrity Talk Dr Anita Heiss Culture=Art=Life=Politics
7.15pm Film Paris, Texas (Dir: Wim Wenders 1984)
7.30pm Emma Donovan in the ArtBar
7.30pm Guided tour of Crossing Country

Wednesday 3 November
5.30pm Floor talk Bronwyn Clark-Coolee Co-ordinator Tertiary programs
6.30pm Guest Talk Leah Purcell The Art of Being Aboriginal
7.15pm Film Yolngu boy Stephen Johnson 2001
7.30pm Emma Donovan in the ArtBar
7.30pm Guided tour of Crossing Country

Wednesday 10 November
5.30pm Floor talk Barry Pearce Head Curator Australian Art
6.30pm David Page Sound and Story
7.15pm Films: No way to forget (Dir: Richard Frankland, 1996)
& Backroads (Dir: Philip Noyce 1977)
7.30pm Emma Donovan in the ArtBar
7.30pm Guided tour of Crossing Country

Art After Hours, Every Wednesday 5-9pm
1800 679 278
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney, 2000

Media Information
Margaux Simms, Press Office
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Telephone 02 9225 1618

Art After Hours - A JPMorgan Contemporary Project
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