AN exploration of land rights campaigner Eddie Mabo will headline Maitland Regional Art Gallery's summer season launched at the venue at the weekend.
The exhibition Legacy: Reflections on Mabobrings together a moving exhibition of works in the spirit of reconciliation with more than 20 indigenous and non-indigenous artists responding to Mabo's historic achievement, reflecting reverence, compassion, anger, sadness and respect.
Gail Mabo, Eddie's daughter and co-curator of the Legacy: Reflections on Mabo exhibition, was the special guest at the exhibition opening on Saturday.
Gallery co-ordinator Kattie Bugeja said the exhibition was a moving collection which brought together a diverse range of artistic mediums.
"It's a really wonderful group of artists that she [Gail] has curated and brought together to celebrate her father's legacy," Ms Bugeja said.
"Everybody is finding it so interesting to walk through the space. It's such a wonderful, welcoming space for visitors to explore."
Ms Bugeja said Ms Mabo spoke of Eddie's spirit travelling with the exhibition, which includes head pieces, moving sculptures, canvases and ceramics.
Among the five exhibitions is the playful world of Nicola Hensel and John Turier, whose creative partnership has produced a steady stream of sculptures, drawings and songs over the past 26 years. Kalliope Calliope brings their practices together for the first time and includes a drawing machine, a mechanical parade, giant buttons and maps for the ever renewable heart.
The intricate interactive illustrations of local artist and comic creator Dale Forward's 'Warlock' invites a 3D exploration of different perspectives, while the 'SnakeAbout' exhibition shows the serpentine splendour of Australian reptiles through the detailed lens of Teresa Purnell's intricate illustrations.
The Gallery's Project Space features Learning to Speak sculpted by Hunter based artist Edward Milan who is inspired by a passion for the handmade.
"It was an absolutely wonderful afternoon," Ms Bugeja said. "We had a fantastic turnout. All the artists were really pleased ... They got to have some great conversations with the visitors. We were able to celebrate the launch of the summer series.
"Come along and celebrate Australia's artistic talent. We've got some wonderful local artists on exhibition through to some well-renowned national artists."
Legacy: Reflections on Mabo runs until Australia Day. Full details at mrag.org.au.