Wakulda will bring together the past and present in stunning visual bicentenary display

The Wakulda nightly program will be staged in the heart of the Port Macquarie CBD and will run from 6-9pm from April 10-18 during the bicentenary event. Wakulda will then screen once every night on an ongoing basis. Photo: PMHC.
The Wakulda nightly program will be staged in the heart of the Port Macquarie CBD and will run from 6-9pm from April 10-18 during the bicentenary event. Wakulda will then screen once every night on an ongoing basis. Photo: PMHC.

A captivating night-time art installation, 'Wakulda' will be launched as the focal event of the Port Macquarie Bicentenary program screening nightly between 6-9pm from April 10-18.

Wakulda, meaning 'As One' in the Gathang language of the local Birpai people, centres on telling the stories of all who have walked this place.

Mayor Peta Pinson said it is important the bicentenary event program unites the community.

"Wakulda pays homage to our region's culture and heritage, and just like our stories, the installation is entirely unique to our region. This is a true testament to our community's character, which should be celebrated, especially now," Cr Pinson said.

"This is a great opportunity to come together after so much shared hardship, to celebrate the very essence of what makes our community so vibrant."

The 10-minute audio-visual projection on the Port Macquarie Historic Courthouse tracks the region's history from our Aboriginal heritage, to European settlement of Port Macquarie, and its emergence as a place of recreation and renewal.

The production will screen on a loop between 6-9pm each evening from April 10-18.

As a federally funded legacy project,Wakulda will become a permanent fixture at the Historic Courthouse.

Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan praised council on the Wakulda installation.

"I look forward to seeing the Wakulda installation on opening night," he said.

"It is also pleasing to know that this project will continue to be screened post-bicentenary celebrations. I have a strong interest in our history and congratulate everyone involved in bringing this project to fruition."

The Wakulda nightly program will be staged in the heart of the Port Macquarie CBD and will run from 6-9pm from April 10-18 during the bicentenary event. Wakulda will then screen once every night on an ongoing basis.

In addition to the nightly program, the bicentenary event will feature the Artist Open Studio Weekend (April 10-11), visit by the Coral Trekker Tall Ship and some 40 satellite events allowing the community to discover new and unexpected pockets of local culture, heritage and nature.

For more information on the Port Macquarie-Hastings Bicentenary and Wakulda nightly program, visit portmacquarieinfo.com.au/bicentenary

The nightly program will be staged at the following locations:

Port Macquarie Courthouse

The beautifully restored Historic Courthouse will also be open for the community to explore an exhibition titled 'Governing Change' by local artist Leanne Prussing.

Featuring contemporary portraits of the first five Governors of NSW, and a diptych portrait of William 'Uncle Bill' O'Brien OAM, Chairman of the Birpai Local Aboriginal Land Council.

Leanne approached Uncle Bill to sit for her for an Archibald entry in 2014.

Visitors can also explore historical letters and journal entries, equipment, and past treasures.

Glasshouse Regional Gallery

The Glasshouse will be keeping its doors open late during the event week to host a range of exhibitions. 'Port Macquarie 200,' on the Mezzanine Gallery, will feature the profiles of seven artists who chose Port Macquarie as their subject over the course of two centuries.

On Level 2, a Community Art Exhibition will showcase the works of local artists. Enjoy the collection of visual responses to the varied natural, cultural, historic, and popular elements that make this community so great.

Also on exhibition will be the stunning 'Saltwater Freshwater Arts Exhibition: Aboriginal Art Award and Contemporary Cultural Objects' and 'National Art Part One' from Sydney's National Art School.

Port Macquarie Museum

Port Macquarie Museum will showcase the best of Port Macquarie's history from its British settlement as a penal colony in 1821, through to the present day as a popular tourist destination and vibrant regional city.

The award-winning collection is displayed across several rooms and galleries, in a series of themed exhibits.

They have also created a specially curated trail titled '20 Decades, 21 Stories', which will guide visitors on a journey of discovery to reveal the key themes and stories that have shaped and defined Port Macquarie's history and identity over the past 200 years.

Mid North Coast Maritime Museum Pilot Boathouse

The historic Pilot Boat Shed will be open to the public for exploration during the nightly program. Built over 120 years ago, the boathouse has housed notable ships such as the 'Pilot's boat' and a collection of local maritime history. Be sure to check out the training sailboat "Anzac", a display of tools used by boat-builders, and more local artefacts.

Live + Local at Little Shack

Little Shack has partnered with one of Council's COVID Recovery Projects to support local musicians by creating a sweet stage for intimate sets each evening. During our event week, head to Little Shack to enjoy their tasty fare, or spread a socially distanced picnic rug on Town Green East and enjoy some of great local music acts.

The Wakulda project is funded by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and the Australian government under the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program; Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery grants program, an Australian Government bushfire recovery initiative; Building Better Regions Fund.

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