A New Cultural Dawn: YAM Opening Exhibitions Unveiled

Following the announcement that Yarrila Place will officially open on 16 September 2023, City of Coffs Harbour is excited to unveil the opening exhibitions for Yarrila Arts and Museum (YAM).

YAM, Coffs Harbour’s brand-new, contemporary Gallery and Museum, will mark its opening with a celebration of people and place; the stories of Coffs Harbour, and how the landscape has shaped all people who live on Gumbaynggirr country.

  • Yaamanga Around here is a permanent exhibition exploring the history and identity of the Coffs Coast through themes of place, community and belonging, with Gumbaynggirr culture at its heart. It features hundreds of historical artefacts, photographs, artworks and digital multimedia from Yarrila Arts and Museum’s collections. Deep dive into local stories that will be a revelation: surprising, thought-provoking, playful and inspiring in turn!
  • Ngarraanga ngaanya junaaygirr Hear me speak is a major exhibition with compelling artistic voices, showcasing the rich cultural heritage and contemporary practices of Gumbaynggirr artists – from first contact through to today, where the reclamation and revitalisation of language and cultural practices claims a strong presence, now and for future generations.
  • Harbour, Headlands, Hinterland explores coastal and country life, revealing a sense of belonging through contemporary art, showcasing some of Yarrila Arts and Museum’s diverse collection, which has grown significantly since the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery opened 21 years ago.
  • Please Walk on the Grass invites you to enter a world of play with local artist Peggy Zephyr’s hyper-coloured paintings and tactile textiles. These artworks have been masterfully created with no rules, no limitations of colour and all possibility, luring the viewer round and round in circles, on a journey through form and shadow.
  • Speaking Water is a series of video works, interwoven at times with recurring imagery and overlapping sound; a watery journey and shared expedition of five international contemporary artists. These artists contemplate the journey of water through time, from ancient ice and glaciers, through rivers, waves and seas, to the clouds and rains, and to living things composed mostly of water.

These stories celebrate the importance of connection to Country, the impact of the land and how it has shaped the local community’s growth and transformation into the vibrant City of Coffs Harbour.

“Art and stories have a special way of connecting hearts. I’m super impressed with all the work that our team has put in behind the scenes to mark the official opening of Yarrila Place with these stunning exhibitions,” said Natalia Cowley, General Manager at City of Coffs Harbour.

“Yarrila Place is truly a once-in-a-generation building that signifies a giant leap forward for our City, so it’s fitting that YAM’s opening exhibitions celebrate the vibrant community and rich culture of Coffs Harbour. I can’t wait until Yarrila Place opens – a pivotal moment that will firmly establish our position as a leading regional city.”

For more information on upcoming exhibitions, please visit the YAM website.