They Shield Us | Memory Mixtape | Land Currents

Maddi Moser, River Dreaming, 2018The Koorie Heritage Trust at Federation Square takes Koorie peoples, cultures and communities from the literal and figurative fringes of Melbourne to a place that is a central meeting and gathering place for all Victorians. On display from 3 August, three new exhibitions, They Shield Us | Memory Mixtape | Land Currents continues to explore this notion.

They Shield Us:
As First Nations women, we adorn our bodies for many reasons. For some, the act of adorning harnesses the strength and power of our Ancestors. Our bodies are carriers of thousands of years of cultural knowledge, and when we adorn them we are expressing our pride in our identity, and the continuation and evolution of our culture.

Curated by Kate ten Buuren and Moorina Bonini, They Shield Us draws on the Koorie Heritage Trust’s Collection along with new works by artists Yaraan Bundle, Djirri Djirri Dance Group, Isobel Morphy-Walsh, Marilyne Nicholls, Laura Thompson and Lisa Waup.

In creating new works, each artist will spend time with the Koorie Heritage Trust Collection, gaining invaluable insight and inspiration. These objects have stories woven, stitched, painted and sewn into them. The exhibition will look at how the acts of creating, sharing and wearing cultural adornments shape our identities as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

The new works will be exhibited with the collection pieces that inspired them.  Along with immersive wallpaper installations of indigenous models wearing both the older and newly created works. They Shield Us conveys the act of cloaking one’s self in culture and the many reasons why we adorn our bodies as contemporary First Nations women including channeling Ancestral strength and protection.

Memory Mixtape:
Memory Mixtape focuses on films that contest official histories, celebrate ancestral embodiment, and are documents for change. Blak cinema is used as evidence for land rights claims, royal commissions and is often the mouthpiece for historical truths colonial Australia tries to forget. But forgetting isn’t in our business. We make sense of the world through the ever-present past.

In Memory Mixtape, Neika Lehman (trawlwoolway) curates a lineup of films that emphasise one of Blak cinema’s strongest joining links: memory.

As First Nations peoples we are always tending to memory work. Whether it be talking to Country, scouring archives, sharing family stories, continuing cultural practices and speaking loudest when our truths must be heard. Memory work on film is a powerful mechanism we use for getting our stories across, whether to move minds in cinemas or as evidence in the court.  

Thinking about Indigenous time – deep time, recent past, present, coming future and deep future, how do we creatively speak to our sense of time and place through cinema? What deeper memories can we conjure, what do we prioritise and which do we choose to share?

Land Currents:
Land Currents is a collection of digital prints on paper by Taungurung artist/designer Maddi Moser. In this exhibition, Moser conveys her love of Country by expressing that “land is something we share, not something we can own.” The works are about places the artist feels most at home, prompting the viewer to reflect on landscapes that they have inherent connections and feelings of attachment.

Land Currents focuses on the land and how it ties the artist to her Taungurung culture. By digitally altering photographs using Photoshop, Moser explores how the natural world connects all people by visually representing the energy that exists in the earth, creating a multitude of connections across land and water.

Maddi Moser is a Taungurung photographer and designer based in Wodonga. She uses her digital skills to create vivid mixed-media artworks that acknowledge traditional Aboriginal elements through a contemporary perspective. Maddi’s work is concerned with themes around the environment, her culture and language.


They Shield Us | Memory Mixtape | Land Currents
Koorie Heritage Trust – Yarra Building, Federation Square, Melbourne
Exhibition: 3 August – 29 September 2019
Free entry

For more information, visit: www.koorieheritagetrust.com.au for details.

Image: Maddi Moser, River Dreaming, 2018, digital print on photographic paper, 594mm x 841mm – image courtesy of the artist.

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