Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA)

Open Now – 5 May – 23 July 2022

More information:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are warned that this post contains names of people who have died.

Collective Movements is a celebration of First Nations practices of collaboration and collectivity. It platforms practitioners from across Victoria, and honours the social, cultural and creative practices integral to First Nations ways of being and doing.

A wide-ranging project comprising an exhibition, publication and public programs, Collective Movements showcases art centres, creative practitioners and community groups who work with an ethos of collaboration and connection. It brings together multiple disciplines and forms, including possum skin cloaks, ceramics and weavings, a large-scale outdoor mural and monumental indoor painted triptych, an ambitious moving image work featuring classical music performance, and an installation that functions as a gathering and learning space.

The exhibition will feature new artwork commissions alongside existing works, archives and participation from a range of contributors, including Ensemble Dutala, Kaiela Arts, this mob’s Blak Art School, ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, Latje Latje Dance Group Mildura, Pitcha Makin Fellas, Koorroyarr Arts, the Possum Skin Cloak Story (founded by Vicki Couzens, Debra Couzens [1962–2021], Lee Darroch and Treahna Hamm), Uncle Ray Thomas and The Torch and a look back at We Iri, We Homeborn—Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Festival (1996).

The Indigenous-edited and -designed publication features new writing by seven leading First Nations artists, curators and writers, including Bryan Andy, Paola Balla, Belinda Briggs, Yaraan Bundle, Maddee Clark, Tiriki Onus and Steven Rhall.

The curatorium engaged for this exhibition is Taungurung artist and curator Kate ten Buuren; Lardil and Yangkaal artist and curator Maya Hodge; and N’Arweet Professor Carolyn Briggs AM PhD; with support from Bundjalung, Muruwari and Kamilaroi artist and senior academic, Professor Brian Martin, Director of Monash’s Wominjeka Djeembana Indigenous Research Lab.

‘To make an exhibition that honours the long legacy of collaborative creative practices here, it was important to work collaboratively. As an intergenerational collective of curators, we have traced these histories and contemporary practitioners in the hope of reflecting the diversity of practice across visual arts, music, theatre, dance and more—acknowledging that our creative practices are limitless, and they are grounded in family, community and Country’, says Kate ten Buuren.

Central to the exhibition is the desire to make visible a language and terminology beyond Western art concepts of ‘collaboration’ and ‘collectivism’—one that better describes the way First Nations creatives work within a broader community and acknowledges that this has been tradition here for thousands of generations.

Collective Movements is supported by Creative Victoria, the Australia Council, the Gordon Darling Foundation and NETS Victoria.