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DISPLAYING POSTS BY: Jennifer Mattiuzzo (2)

Koorie Voices returns

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by Jennifer Mattiuzzo
Publish date
28 June 2012
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Jen is an exhibition manager working on the Bunjilaka redevelopment project.

Earlier this year the much loved exhibition Koorie Voices closed as part of the preparations for the redevelopment of Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre.

Original Koorie Voices exhibition The original Koorie Voices exhibition in Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre.
Image: John Broomfield
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Koorie Voices had been on display since Melbourne Museum opened in Carlton Gardens in 2000 and was one of the original permanent exhibitions in Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre. The exhibition told stories of life on missions, early encounters with Europeans around Port Phillip Bay, the dispossession of Koorie people after invasion and the forcible removal of children from their families.

The main feature was the photographic display that included over 400 portraits of Victorian Aboriginal people that celebrate the richness and diversity of Koorie culture. The images were a mixture of historic and recent photographs and showed connections to Ancestors and country.

For many, visiting Koorie Voices meant being surrounded by Ancestors, relatives and friends and was like walking through a giant family album. It was also a way for community to connect with their Ancestors and family through the photographs that are held in Museum Victoria's collections and an important way for non-Aboriginal visitors to learn about Koorie culture and identity.

detail of Koorie Voices display A detail of the display, showing portraits of Victorian Aboriginal people.
Image: John Broomfield
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Koorie Voices was one of the most popular displays in Bunjilaka and has kept people coming back time and time again. Its closure was met with a feeling of sadness both at the museum and by the community. It was this feedback that drove the decision to put the images of Koorie Voices back on display.

In June 2012, the Koorie Voices images were installed in the main walk outside Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre. This version focuses on the portraits with all of the photos represented as either printed panels or on screen.

Koorie Voices display outside Bunjilaka Newly-reinstated Koorie Voices display outside Bunjilaka.
Image: John Broomfield
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Koorie Voices display Newly-reinstated Koorie Voices display outside Bunjilaka. Judy Watson's beautiful zinc wall panels, Wurreka, can be seen in the background.
Image: John Broomfield
Source: Museum Victoria
 

So whether you're a first time visitor or a Koorie Voices veteran, come along and experience this special exhibition in its new location. Koorie Voices will remain on display until we open Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre's new permanent exhibition.

May 2013 update: Koorie Voices will be deinstalled in the week of 27 May 2013, because the showcases are being removed to make way for a new installation in early 2014.

Ancestral Power in Darwin

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by Jennifer Mattiuzzo
Publish date
2 August 2011
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Jen Mattiuzzo is an Exhibition Manager at Melbourne Museum who is on the team that assembled the Ancestral Power and the Aesthetic exhibition.

NAIDOC Week was the backdrop for a series of public programs and events for Museum Victoria’s travelling exhibition Ancestral Power and the Aesthetic. This exhibition includes stunning painted barks and ceremonial objects from the Donald Thomson Collection, all collected by Thomson during the 1930s and 1940s from central and eastern Arnhem Land.

Traditional Owners of these works travelled to Darwin from Arnhem Land to take part in floor talks and to welcome the exhibition.

The highlight of the week was the welcome celebration on Wednesday 6 July where Yolngu men and women from Milingimbi danced and spoke about the importance these sacred designs and stories to an enthusiastic audience of locals and tourists. They came to pay respect to their ancestor, Harry Makarrwala, who painted one of the works in the exhibition.

Ancestral Power and the Aesthetic is on display at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory until 11 September 2011.

This exhibition is supported by Visions of Australia, an Australian Government program supporting touring exhibitions by providing funding assistance for the development and touring of Australian cultural material across Australia.

Janice Wungurrkthun and Isobel Malulawuy Gaykamangu
Janice Wungurrkthun and Isobel Malulawuy Gaykamangu paint up before the performance
Image: Samantha Hamilton
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Children during the welcome celebration
Children danced alongside their parents and grandparents during the welcome celebration
Image: Samantha Hamilton
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Dancing at the entrance to MAGNT
Dancing begins at the entrance to MAGNT before moving into the exhibition space.
Image: Samantha Hamilton
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Bobby Makurrminya Dhurrwuy
Bobby Makurrminya Dhurrwuy leads.
Image: Samantha Hamilton
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Relaxing after the performance Relaxing after the performance.
Image: Samantha Hamilton
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Links:

MV Blog: Ancestral Power opens in Benalla

MV News: Ancestral Power and the Aesthetic

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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.

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