An ode to cinema, a multi-sensory interactive exhibition and a historical review of one of the Illawarra's most famous families will form part of the next program for Wollongong Art Gallery.
The next six months of activities has been revealed with multi-media artist Rosie Deacon returning in September to offer a different kind of show, appealing to people of all abilities.
Deacon's colourful installation will include sculpture, sound, video and costumes which visitors are encouraged to try on and glide down a catwalk.
Tracey Moffatt and Gary Hillberg will present a series of moments in popular Hollywood films in Montages: The Full Cut from November. It is to offer insight into the stereotypes that populate people's "collective cultural imagination".
While the region's bus empire - the Dion family - will be celebrated in On The Move, a joint project with the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. It documents the arrival of the first generation in Wollongong in 1907 to their market gardens to the development of their bus services.
Director of the 4A Centre and curator of the exhibition Mikala Tai said she's been stepping into the Dion's family homes and rummaging through their archives to find pieces for the exhibition.
"The family has the most amazing history," Dr Tai said.
"They came so early in the 19th century, but also the fact they were was such a band of characters.
"They've played such a big role in the community for so long - especially being of Asian decent - really early for that kind of role to happen in Australia so they're kind of pioneers in that way."
The exhibition will use photographs, installations, and somehow buses, to tell the Dion story. They were one of the first Chinese families in Wollongong after Thomas and Annie Dion migrated to Fairy Meadow in 1907, with 13 children who went on to be vibrant pillars of the community.
They ran a market garden, bus company and invested in real estate such as constructing the Dion's Building on Keira Street which still stands today.
John Birchmeier married into the family in the mid-70s and started collating their history. As each brother drove buses well into their elderly years, he said most of Wollongong would have known the Dion's "in some form or another".
Dr Tai said it's becoming increasingly important to look back at history and see collaborations between all types of people have happening for decades.
"We are in such a divisive moment in contemporary Australia about immigration and about ideas of who we really are," she said. "I think this story really enables that conversation to happen in a very fresh or different way."
On The Move: The Dion Family will be on exhibition at Wollongong Art Gallery from November 30 to February 23.
WHAT'S ON AT THE GALLERY
- The new program includes the 40th anniversary of MacCabe Park's controversial sculpture Nike, by artist Ken Unsworth. Beginning Sunday will be an exhibition of Unsworth's smaller scale works to coincide.
- Rosie Deacon's "Fashion Forest Seduction" will have an array of multi-sensory installations on show from September. It includes a free enrichment program for school students with disabilities and an Auslan tour for hearing impaired children.
- Finalists in the "Flow" contemporary watercolour prize will be on show from August. It's a biennial acquisitive competition open to artists from around Australia and aims to encourage innovation and experimentation.
- A shadow puppet performance, Brook of No Return, will entertain through comedy, myth, politics, and spirits in September.
- Works from the gallery archives will be restored and brought back into the living world for the Lord Mayor's Art Patron Star Program. On exhibition from September.
- Arrangements of objects and furniture from the Mann-Tatlow Collection of Asian Art from the Neolithic Period to the early twentieth century will be exhibited from November.
- An art prize for contemporary artworks reflecting the Illawarra region through people, places or events will be on show for "Postcards from the Edge" in November.
- Ceramicist Jenny Orchard will have a mix of old and new works on show from December.
- "Montages: The Full Cut" will celebrate Hollywood gold through a series of eight films, on show from December.
You can visit Wollongong Art Gallery for free, open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm, weekends 10am to 4pm (closed Mondays and public holidays). www.wollongongartgallery.com