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Yowong-Illam-Baluk and Nattarak Baluk artist Mick Harding selected to design animation for ACMI Installation

Rhiannon Clarke -

ACMI has granted Mick Harding $20,000 commission to create the ACMI First Nations Welcome Installation.

The purpose of the installation is to celebrate Victoria's First Nations peoples and show respect to the Traditional Owners of the land where ACMI is located - the Wurundjeri people of the Eastern Kulin Nation.

A Yowong-Illam-Baluk and Nattarak Baluk man of the Taungurung clan, Harding was awarded the grant by a panel that included members of the museum's leadership team.

Harding showcased his artistic talent through his vibrant illustrated artwork that served as inspiration for the animations installation. He will collaborate with his son, Mitch Harding, to bring this project to life.

"I like to say 'art is a rainbow of many things' and I'm always mindful of my own practice demonstrating an openness to this," he said.

Artist Mick Harding with son Mitch Harding (Image: Scott Cardwell)

"It's fantastic to have ACMI's support to create a moving image work that honours the Kulin Nations.

"My hope is that this installation will make everyone feel welcome on Country when they visit the museum."

The installation will be prominently displayed in ACMI's Fed Square foyer, serving as a reminder that Australia's museum of screen culture is situated on Aboriginal land.

ACMI Executive Director of First Nations, Equity & Social Policy, Gavin Somers, congratulated Harding on being awarded this $20,000 commission to create the First Nations Welcome Installation.

"Mick impressed all of us on the panel with his vision for a striking animation, inspired by his illustrated artwork, which combines elements of traditional and contemporary Aboriginal art," he said.

"This installation will reinforce ACMI's reputation for being a welcoming hub for communities to gather – where local and international visitors can experience a strong connection to Country as they engage with screen culture."

Illustrated drawing, Mick Harding, 2023. (Image: supplied ACMI)

Acting Minister for Creative Industries, Natalie Hutchins also congratulated Harding.

"Congratulations to Mick Harding on this artwork commission, creating a magnificent new welcome for all visitors to ACMI to enjoy and treasure," she said.

"The animation will honour the site's Traditional Owners and thousands of years of cultural practice and connection to country, while celebrating the contemporary First Nations creativity."

The ACMI First Nations Welcome Installation will draw inspiration from an untitled 2023 artwork, which showcases seven of Harding's illustrations depicting plants and wildlife.

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