Ancestral Power opens in Benalla

by Kate C
Publish date
8 December 2010
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A crew from MV spent much of last week in bushranger country in the town of Benalla in Victoria's north, readying the exhibition Ancestral Power and the Aesthetic: Arnhem Land paintings and objects from the Donald Thomson Collection for its opening on Saturday 4 December.

The exhibition, curated by Lindy Allen, was first shown at the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne in 2009. This showing at the Benalla Art Gallery is the first stop on a tour that will include other galleries in regional Victoria plus the Northern Territory and New South Wales.

Installing Ancestral Power The exhibition crew carefully cover a display of objects with a protective case.
Image: Nicole Alley
Source: Museum Victoria

The exhibition features large bark paintings by Yolngu people that were collected in the 1930s and 40s by Donald Thomson. They capture the sacred patterns, known as minytji, that were painted onto the bodies of ancestors in creation times. The same destictive designs were painted onto ceremonial objects also.

Nicole and I were there to interview Lindy about the exhibition for an upcoming Ancestral Power website, but it was a rare treat for us webteam staff to see an exhibition being installed, too.

Lindy Allen preparing for interview Lindy Allen preparing for her video interview about the works in Ancestral Power and the Aesthetic.
Image: Nicole Alley
Source: Museum Victoria

Benalla is well worth a visit to see this amazing show. Admission is free and it will be on display until 30 January 2011.


Ancestral Power and the Aesthetic MV News story

Benalla Art Gallery

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