WORKS by 11 Victorian First Nations Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and designers are featured in the Layers of Blak exhibition at Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Mornington until 3 September.
A news release from Mornington Peninsula Shire says the works are the result of their creators having “wrestled with colonial history to present their stories, layered with meaning – of healing, resilience, collaboration and empowerment. This is powerful storytelling through exquisite contemporary jewellery”.
The exhibition, an outcome of the Blak Design program and being run in conjunction with NAIDOC Week, is presented by the Melbourne-based Koorie Heritage Trust to “foster First Nations cultural innovation within the Victorian design sector and provide a platform for nurturing sustainable, First Nations design practices”.
Artists with works in the Layers of Blak exhibition are Thelma Austin (Gunditjmara), Mandi Barton (Yorta Yorta/Barapa Barapa/Wemba Wemba), Lorraine Brigdale (Yorta Yorta), Nikki Browne (Bidjara), Deanne Gilson (Wadawurrung), Tammy Gilson (Wadawurrung), Elijah Money (Wiradjuri), Yasmin Silveira (Palawa), Sammy Trist (Taungurung), Dominic White (Palawa) and Tracy Wise (Barkindji Ngiyampaa Maligundidj).
Mornington Peninsula-based artist Dominic White, a Palawa man, is a descendant of the Trawoolaway of Lutruwita (Tasmania), through his birth mother’s family.
Adopted into a peninsula family, White’s art has for more than 20 years been following a process of reclamation of his heritage.
Trained as a printmaker at Monash University and the Australian National University, his work includes printmaking, sculpture, photography, ceramics and jewellery.
Printed works made from White’s fingerprints with foam patterns from Gunnamatta reference Bass Strait which connects Boon Wurrung/Bunurong land with the Trawoolaway. Patterns of colonial philosophy are branded onto wooden and clay surfaces of coolamons and overlie prints depicting the old growth plants of Red Hill’s Endeavour Fern Gully.
Wall works juxtapose natural objects with forged steel, natural forms and bronze cast objects and kelp jewellery contrasts with overlapped chains, feathered wire, and forged metal.
Other NAIDOC Week activities include:
Story time at Mornington Library recommended for ages 3-8 , 11am Tuesday 4 July, Free, bookings essential.
Art making workshop with Sammy Trist using natural Indigenous materials ochre and gum leaves “to explore your own connection to nature and show you how to create your own meaningful token of Country”. MPRG, 11am Thursday 6 July, $15.
Guided walk through the wildlife sanctuary and Yidaki-led meditation with Living Culture at The Briars, Mount Martha, Sunday 9 July. Cost: $46.50 adult, $36.50 concession/child.
Indigenous art from the Civic Collection, Mornington Library, until Monday 31 July. Free.
For more details about NAIDOC week go to mornpen.vic.gov.au/naidoc