RESONANCE: Truth-telling at the NGV

RESONANCE: Truth-telling at the NGV is a new series of talks, ideas, courses and more that seeks to prioritise and amplify First Nations voices, experiences and perspectives.

Using the NGV’s world-leading collection of First Nations art and design as a catalyst, the program seeks to expand visitors’ experience and understanding of the State collection, as well as the history of creativity on this continent.

Empowered by a generous endowment from the Ullmer Family Foundation, the program launches in 2023 and continues over the next three years.

Highlights include an annual keynote conversation event exploring contemporary issues facing First Nations communities and featuring leading voices who are shaping contemporary discourse on critical issues. The 2023 event, Wurrdha Marra Annual Keynote: Strengths-based Storytelling, will take place on Wednesday 11 October, marking the opening of Wurrdha Marra, the newly dedicated First Nations exhibition space at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.

Hosted by journalist, broadcaster and author Daniel Browning, this special event invites important reflection on the value of storytelling and First Nations knowledge systems. Panellists include Common Ground CEO Rona Glyn-McDonald and artists Kent Morris and Keemon Williams, whose works are on display in Wurrdha Marra.

Coinciding with the opening of Watercolour Country, an exhibition celebrating the enduring impact of the Hermannsburg school of watercolourists, audiences are invited to learn watercolour techniques from Hermannsburg artists Dellina Belinda Inkamala, Marcus Wheeler and Betty Namatjira Wheeler in an intimate watercolour painting workshop at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia on Saturday 28 October. The artists will then join NGV curator Sophie Gerhard in conversation, reflecting on their work and the work of their ancestors on display in Watercolour Country.

The Ullmer Family Foundation will also support the recording of voices of First Nations artists and designers discussing their work and the work of their ancestors. These recordings will be presented in the form of QR codes on artwork labels, which visitors can activate via their devices inside the gallery space. Artists featured in Watercolour Country and within the permanent collection on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia will be among those to take part in the project.

As part of RESONANCE: Truth-telling at the NGV, which aims to incorporate more First Nations voices, stories and perspectives, traditional Country and place names have also been incorporated into artwork labels throughout The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. This includes the traditional place name of the location where the artwork was produced, as well as the land depicted in landscapes produced by non-Indigenous artists.

Encouraging connection and conversation, the program will also facilitate a podcast series dedicated to unpacking the synergies and diversities between First Nation artists and their practises, as well as the interweaving threads of politics, history and Australian culture.

In 2024, the NGV will present a four-week course on First Nations art and design led by NGV curators, exhibiting artists and Community members. In this introductory course, participants will learn about the art, culture and design of Australia’s First Peoples through a close study of historical and contemporary art and design in the NGV Collection.

Sessions will be held after-hours in the galleries at NGV.


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