Coomaditchie: The Art of Place

Experience community life by the ocean through the works of First Nations artists in Coomaditchie: The Art of Place at the Museum of Sydney. These loving and lyrical artworks, which include paintings, ceramics and screen-prints, speak of life in and around the settlement of Coomaditchie, its history, ecology and local Dreaming stories.

The exhibition celebrates the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation in 1993. The corporation provides support and services to the broader community and to the people of the Coomaditchie settlement, located at Coomaditchie Lagoon in the city of Wollongong, the centre of the Illawarra region of NSW. Also on display are original historical documents and a short film that reveal the social and political narrative of the founding of the current Coomaditchie settlement, which followed a long campaign for housing for local Aboriginal people.

Today, the work of the Coomaditchie artists can be found all over the Illawarra – in community spaces, buildings, landscapes, streets and galleries. A selection of photographs shows the depth and the beauty of their contributions to the public art landscape. This timely exhibition offers a glimpse into the political, social and artistic activities of a very special place.

School holiday activity

Story time at the Museum – Coomaditchie Dreaming

The Dreaming lies at the core of Aboriginal spiritual belief. The First Nations people of the Illawarra region call their Dreaming the Alcheringa.

Dreaming stories relating to all aspects of the local culture have survived, including those about the creation of the Illawarra landscape. Coomaditchie Elders share these local Dreaming stories with the children of Coomaditchie via oral storytelling traditions and through art.

Join us for a relaxed and fun story time session followed by a craft activity inspired by the Dreaming stories.

Dates: 11-12 July and 17-19 July
Time: 10.30-11.30am
Ages: 4+

FREE, registrations not required

Exhibition events

Untitled, Allison Day, 2006. Photo © Bernie Fisher, 2022. Artwork © the artist
9–10 July, 11am & 2pm

Art of Place: poetry workshop for kids with Lucy Norton

Led by Lucy Norton, this workshop for kids will explore the nature, uses and practice of poetry

Coomaditchie: The Art of Place marketing photoshoot
31 July, 6pm

First Nations Speaker Series: Coomaditchie

This winter the First Nations Speaker Series will explore activism in the Illawarra region of NSW and beyond

Corner Phillip and Bridge streets, Sydney NSW 2000

Museum of Sydney

Corner Phillip and Bridge streets, Sydney NSW 2000
  • Cafe
  • Wheelchair accessible
Plan your visit

  • 30 March – 25 August 2024

Read more

Between the mountains and the sea, Lorraine Brown and Narelle Thomas, 2008. Photo © Bernie Fisher, 2022. Artworks © the artists

Understanding the Art of Place

Discover how we can understand and connect to place through art, and consider how a place can mean different things to different people

Coomaditchie Lagoon
First Nations

Coomaditchie: The Art of Place

The works of the Coomaditchie artists speak of life in and around the settlement of Coomaditchie, its history, ecology and local Dreaming stories

The mission, Lorraine Brown, 2007
First Nations

Coomaditchie: Of place

These works record the extraordinary arc the artists of Coomaditchie have travelled over more than three decades

Dragonflies, Meahala Langlo-Brown, 2022
First Nations

Coomaditchie: Lagoon stories

These panels detail the ecological life in and around Coomaditchie Lagoon

A view of the shacks on the Port Kembla end of the Official Camp

The fight for Coomaditchie

Listen to audio recordings and read transcripts of selected letters held in the State Archives Collection

Coomaditchie: The Art of Place is based on the exhibition commissioned by Wollongong Art Gallery in 2023.


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