Empty Coolamons

In Memoriam to the Stolen Generations

Past Event: 12 June 2014 to 26 April 2015

Robyne Latham with her exhibition Empty Coolamons.
Source: Museum Victoria
Ben Healley

Indigenous artist Robyne Latham brings recognition to the Stolen Generations in this art exhibition.

Coolamons were traditionally used by Aboriginal women to collect water and food and to cradle new-born babies. Intricate patterning on the wooden carvings was often a physical manifestation of the makers.

Robyne Latham’s coolamons are contemporary sculptures made from copper wire and range from small and intricate to large-scale forms. The coolamons are suspended in this immersive installation, which features a soundscape by Anna Liebzeit.

Empty Coolamons responds to a significant historical issue and invites audiences to pause and reflect, with the intention of achieving a sense of reconciliation for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

About the artist

Robyne Latham is a Victorian-based Indigenous artist and a Yamatji woman from Western Australia.

Latham notes ‘the coolamon cradle is empty of baby and stands in witness to the pain of loss, suffered by the Stolen Generations of Australia and their families’. She hopes her work 'will evoke an empathy and compassion, devoid of the heavy-hearted sentiments of guilt, blame, shame or resentment'.


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