NAIDOC 2021 – NGV Exhibitions

The NGV has now reopened and is thrilled to be welcoming visitors to view their new exhibitions and the NGV Collection at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia and NGV International. Over the coming week NGV will be presenting virtual programs celebrating the NAIDOC 2021 theme – Heal Country! And virtual programs related to current exhibitions Maree Clarke: Ancestral Memories and Big Weather.


25 June – 3 October 2021 | The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia | FREE 
Maree Clarke: Ancestral Memories is the first major retrospective of Melbourne-based artist and designer, Maree Clarke, who is a Yorta Yorta/Wamba Wamba/Mutti Mutti/Boonwurrung woman.
Covering more than three decades of artistic output, the exhibition traverses Maree’s multidisciplinary practice across photography, printmaking, sculpture, jewellery, video, glass and more. Documenting Maree’s life as told through her art, the exhibition includes rarely seen black-and-white photographs that bring to life key figures and events in Melbourne during the 1990s, through to her most accomplished and critically acclaimed work of recent years, including major mixed media installations, contemporary jewellery incorporating kangaroo-teeth, river reed and echidna quills, through to lenticular prints and photographic holograms.


Tue 6 Jul 11.30-11.50am, Thu 15 Jul 10.00-10.20am, Tue 20 Jul 11.30-11.50am | Virtual event, free
In this session, designed for children aged 2-5 years old, participants will watch a video introduction from artist Maree Clarke introducing her exhibition Maree Clarke: Ancestral Memories, possum skin cloaks and works from the exhibition.
Maree has created a large-scale, 63-pelt possum-skin cloak commissioned especially for this exhibition. The work draws on Maree’s deep cultural knowledge amassed through the state-wide possum-skin cloak reclamation project with fellow Koorie artists, including Vicki Couzens, Lee Darroch and Treahna Hamm. By meticulously researching traditional designs and the practice of cloak making, Maree and her fellow artists helped to revive this important garment making skills, producing the first possum-skin cloaks in Victoria for the first time in over 150 years.

This program includes an art-making demonstration inspired by possum skin cloaks using an NGV activity sheet developed by Maree. 


Tue 6 Jul 5.00-6.00pm | Virtual event, free
Industry Connections gives teens the chance to meet artists through informal discussion and illustrated presentations to find out about their creative careers and gain insights into the diverse roles and opportunities in the creative industries.
Teens are invited to join Maree Clarke and Mitch Mahoney in a talk responding to the 2021 NAIDOC Week theme of Heal Country! and Maree Clarke: Ancestral Memories.
Maree Clarke is a Yorta Yorta/Wamba Wamba/Mutti Mutti/Boonwurrung woman who grew up in northwest Victoria, mainly in Mildura, on the banks of the Murray River. Maree is a pivotal figure in the reclamation of south-east Australian Aboriginal art and cultural practices and has a passion for reviving and sharing elements of Aboriginal culture that were lost – or lying dormant – as a consequence of colonisation.
Mitch Mahoney is a proud Boon Wurrung artist and cultural educator who consults at Bunjilaka Melbourne Museum, Science Gallery and Footscray Arts Centre. Mitch regularly collaborates with his Aunt, Maree Clarke. Together they have produced significant commissions for the NGV and the Metro Tunnel Project. Mitch is focused on Indigenous Bio-Design in his practice with projects including The Biodegradable Eel Trap and Seven Canoe’s project.


Big Weather is an exclusive exhibition exploring the sophisticated understanding of weather systems that exist within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural knowledge. The exhibition highlights the vital role Indigenous artists and designers play in sharing stories that ensure cultural knowledge is shared, celebrating an intimate understanding of the land, which has been handed down over generations and has been recorded through song, dance, and art.

The exhibition is currently open at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia until 21 October 2021 and also available to experience as a virtual tour on NGV Channel.

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