Three new exhibitions dedicated to the art and culture of Aboriginal people from South Eastern Australia are now open at the Koorie Heritage Trust in Melbourne.
Curated by Kate ten Buuren and Moorina Bonini, They Shield Us features newly commissioned works by artists Laura Thompson, Djirri Djirri Dance Group, Isobel Morphy-Walsh, Lisa Waup, Marilyne Nicholls and Yaraan Bundle.
Each artist spent time with the Koorie Heritage Trust Collection’s wearable contemporary and historic clothing, jewellery and body adornments to draw inspiration for the recreation of items such as possum skin cloaks, kangaroo tooth necklaces and emu feather skirts and headbands.
These items skilfully combine layers of stories that are stitched, painted, woven and sewn into them.
The exhibition explores how the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women is reflected through creating, sharing and wearing these cultural items.
The largest collection of its kind worldwide, the new items and the collection pieces that inspired them will be displayed together.
Memory Mixtape features a line-up of films that celebrate ancestral embodiment, contest official histories and are documents for change.
Neika Lehman (trawlwoolway) curated the collection which places emphasis on memory, one of the strongest joining links of Blak cinema.
Blak cinema films are used as evidence in land rights claims and royal commissions, often becoming the mouthpiece for historical truths that colonial Australia attempts to forget.
Some of the films include: Lament (2013), The Mermaids, Or Aiden in Wonderland (2018) and Black Man’s Houses (1992).
The third exhibition, Land Currents, is a collection of digital prints focusing on the land and how it ties artist and designer Maddi Moser to her Taungurung culture.
Ms Moser conveys her love of country in this exhibition by expressing “land is something that we share, not something we can own.”
As a Taungurung photographer and designer based in Wodonga, Victoria, Ms Moser explores how the natural world connects all people.
Ms Moser digitally edits photos to visually represent the energy that exists in the earth, creating many different connections across water and land.
Ms Moser’s work acknowledges traditional Aboriginal elements with themes around the environment, Taungurung culture and language.
They Shield Us, Memory Mixtape and Land Currents are on until Sunday September 29.
To find out more about the exhibition, visit: http://koorieheritagetrust.com.au/.