If the far west New South Wales town of Wilcannia has a spiritual sister in the city of Sydney, it is undoubtedly the suburb of Redfern, an indigenous hub that has seen as much trouble as triumph.
It is just a short walk from Redfern Station to the Pine Street Gallery in Chippendale, where the Wilcannia Community Artist exhibition is currently on display.
Here, city dwellers can view the dreams of painters, printers and sculptors from the land of the Barkindji (river people), many of whom have never been exhibited outside of their outback home.
Curator Alex Papasavvas says it was while he was teaching at Wilcannia Central school last year, that he got the idea to take local art to the city.
“Wilcannia was my first graduate position after finishing school,” says Sydney-born Papasavvas.
“It was a big shock for me when I first moved to this isolated community and met Aboriginal people for the first time.”
“What I wanted to do when I was there was to try and teach the students in Wilcannia about art that was relevant to them; that is, artwork made by Aboriginal people in rural New South Wales, preferably from Wilcannia.”