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SONGSPIRALS: Connecting Songs to Country

Weaving Process
Weaving Process

Performance Arts Culture Cessnock (PACC) will launch SONGSPIRALS this month, showcasing a remarkable collection of Aboriginal works.


From Saturday, 29 June, through Sunday, 18 August, visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of the Yolŋu people living in Bawaka Country, in North East Arnhem Land, through diverse mediums, including print-making, weaving, and audiovisual works.

Traditionally sung by Aboriginal people to awaken Country, songspirals enable the life-giving connections between people and place. While much of the existing literature has focused on the roles of men, SONGSPIRALS offers a rare and intimate insight into the crucial role of Aboriginal women in keening milkarri by sustaining and bringing to life these songlines.

SONGSPIRALS explores the profound Yolŋu kinship system, Gurrutu, and features five significant songspirals: Wuymirri (whale), Wukun (gathering of the clouds), Guwak (messenger bird), Wititj (rainbow serpent), and Goŋ-Gurtha (Fire keeper). These songspirals are ancient, dynamic expressions that connect people to the land, each other, and the cosmos.

The exhibition is inspired by the latest book by the Gay'wu Group of Women, Songspirals: Sharing Women’s Wisdom of Country through Songlines (2020). It invites audiences on a journey through ancient songs, poems, ceremonies, and maps that provide a radically different understanding of humans and their place within the environment. Through close collaboration with Yolŋu researchers, the exhibition aims to nourish and share Indigenous and Country-led understandings, ensuring the keening of songspirals is preserved and offers an invitation to share in some of what the Yolŋu people know and do as they live songspirals today.

Experience this unique and powerful exhibition that seeks to foster deep, healthy relationships between people and place amidst the challenges of environmental change. The official opening will be held at PACC on Saturday, 6 July, from 12pm to 2pm, proudly supported by Lisa McGuigan Wines. The exhibition will be open on weekends from 10am to 2pm and Tuesday to Friday from 9am to 4:30pm.

Entry is free. Visit for more information.



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