In an effort to break down barriers between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and form relationships of understanding, appreciation and acceptance, Indigenous history, culture and community are highlighted over the next few months with National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week.
We can all enjoy events across the country such as Victoria’s Glen Eira region’s ‘Storytelling Festival’ from 22 June to 7 July, and the exhibition ‘Celebrating Culture: Contemporary Indigenous Art’ at it’s Council Gallery from 2 May to 28 July. The latter, curated by Diane Soumilas, showcases the work of contemporary Indigenous artists Brook Andrew, Tony Albert, Hannah Brontë, Michael Cook, Janet Fieldhouse, Gali Yalkarriwuy Gurruwiwi, Hayley Millar-Baker, Kent Morris, Vincent Namatjira, Wayne Quilliam, James Tylor and Vicki West.
Through paintings, photography, drawings, mixed-media, video and installations themes of identity, colonisation, personal history, community and the diversity and richness of a significant cultural heritage are explored. Tylor’s Un-resettling (Canoe Tree) (2017) will re-explore and restore lost traditional Kaurna dwellings and practices and Cook’s Mother-Bicycle (2016) print focuses on family life and the complexities of the stolen generation; while others dwell on extended issues from social and religious life to cultural adversity and survival.
A free public program includes artist talks with Hayley Millar-Baker and Kent Morris who will discuss their creative practice as well as the works in the exhibition on Friday 28 June at 12pm, and a floor talk by Indigenous photographer and RMIT University Adjunct Professor Wayne Quilliam who will provide insight into Indigenous storytelling as well as his own artmaking on Friday 5 July at 12pm.