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THE LUME Melbourne announces First Nations exhibition ‘Connection’, closing celebrations program

Phoebe Blogg -

To celebrate and honour the final weeks of First Nations exhibition Connection, THE LUME Melbourne has announced a special series of events for the exhibition's last weeks in operation.

To provide the public with an even more immersive and connected experience, the special program of closing events will include live music performances, fine dining, art demonstrations, workshops, guided tours, wellness classes and more.

AFL legend and acclaimed contemporary artist Gavin Wanganeen is thrilled to have been a part of the exhibition and join THE LUME in celebrating Connection's final weeks.

"As an artist and proud descendent of the Kokatha people of the Western Desert in South Australia, being part of Connection has been an immensely meaningful journey for me. This experience not only showcases the incredible diversity and richness of our culture but also acts as a bridge, inviting everyone to share in the stories and traditions of First Peoples," he said.

"As we bid farewell to Connection, let us reflect on the power of art to connect us, transcend boundaries, and leave a lasting impact. Join me in celebrating the closing of this extraordinary cultural odyssey at THE LUME Melbourne, where every brushstroke and note tells a story, echoing the resilience and beauty of our people. It's not just an end; it's a continuation of the profound legacy of First Peoples' art and culture."

Whilst Connection's closing program is brimming with great events, we have rounded up the top three both artists and the public can enjoy.

Emily's Wall at THE LUME in Melbourne. (Image: Supplied)

Expert Guided Tours – 19th January to 2nd February

To begin the closing celebrations, there is a rare opportunity to experience Connection without crowds, by participating in an intimate group tour. Led by a guide and subject matter expert, participants are provided with unique insights on the history and techniques of First Nations art. Guides will share insights into the world's oldest continuous culture and provide expert commentary on works within the Gallery of Original Art.

THE LUME Melbourne is currently utilising the knowledge and expertise of guides Tabitha Glanville and Hope Constable. Tabitha Glanville is a Kamilaroi woman of Aboriginal, German, and Anglo-Saxon descent, currently in her final year of study at Monash University, completing a Bachelor's degree in Art History and Curating. Hope Constable is a proud Ngunnawal Woman, writer and storyteller, she is currently specialising in creative writing and poetry.

The Final Feast with Mark Olive – 3rd February 2024

Hosted by renowned Indigenous chef, The Final Feast with Mark Olive will see participants be guided through a three-course dinner for two.

Taking place at an intimate dining table, surrounded by breathtaking visuals and stirring music, this experience enables participants to spend quality time with a friend or loved one at Mirri, THE LUME's in-experience dining area, with the exclusive menu showcasing Olive's Indigenous -inspired signature creations.

This menu is a celebration of culture, tradition and storytelling, where every dish carries the legacy of cultural heritage and Olive's boarder Bundjalung heritage.

First Nations Chef Mark Olive. (Image: Supplied)

The Final Connection with Alice Skye – 4th February 2024

On the final evening of Connection, singer Alice Skye will perform live whose song Wurega Djalin is featured in the Connection soundtrack. Like her ancestors before her, Skye's art acts as a powerful vehicle of storytelling through song.

The Connection soundtrack showcases a broad spectrum of music, taking audiences deeper into the world of First Nations art. It draws from the work of several iconic Indigenous musicians and bands such as Yothu Yindi, Archie Roach and Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, contemporary artists such as Baker Boy and Alice Skye, as well as traditional ceremonial songs.

First Nations singer Alice Skye. (Image: Lekhena Porter)

Developed for THE LUME Melbourne by Grande Experiences alongside Adam Knight, Professor Wayne Quilliam and a panel of leading Indigenous cultural advisors including, Connection was born from an idea to celebrate First Peoples' art and music and give back to their artist communities.

Connection features over 110 visual and musical artists converge, across nearly 650 paintings, including 85 significant pieces of original art. Connection was produced with the support of both State and Federal governments and the National Museum of Australia.

Connection will end on the 4th of February 2024.

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