Northern Rivers arts community punches above its weight

YOUNG Byron Bay photographer Nathan Wood has been called an "impressive and talented young man" in NSW Parliament as upper house MP Ben Franklin paid tribute to the Northern Rivers arts community.

Mr Wood was one of 16 rising artists to receive a recent $10,000 government scholarship, for his screen project A Timelapse Journey Through the NSW Wilderness.

"I had the pleasure of meeting Nathan and viewing his work as part of Paredolia Visuals, his locally based production company," Mr Franklin said.

"I can now understand why he deserves this scholarship. Nathan is a very impressive and talented young man, and I am thrilled that we are able to help him develop his craft."

Mr Franklin said the region's commitment to the arts harked back to stories of the Bundjalung people who have called the area home for thousands of years.

He paid tribute to the Northern Rivers Writers Centre in Byron Bay, which is in line to receive $375,000 funding over three years for its writer engagement program, including the Byron Bay Writers Festival.

"This provides unprecedented certainty for the group to keep challenging locals and visitors alike through writing," he said.

Spaghetti Circus in Mullumbimby also got a mention for its $55,000 grant to further its work in the field of circus arts.

"It is sometimes hard to dispel the myth that we must go to cities to experience culture," Mr Franklin said.

"However, the Northern Rivers always confounds people's expectations.

"The vivid and diverse culture of the area is indeed what attracts so many visitors."