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Wurrdha Marra: NGV’s Celebration of First Nations Art and Design

The Ian Potter Centre at Federation Square, home to NGV Australia, is set to showcase a new exhibition space titled “Wurrdha Marra,” celebrating and highlighting the vibrant contributions of First Nations artists and designers. Wurrdha Marra: NGV’s Celebration of First Nations Art and Design. This exhibition, derived from the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung language phrase “Many Mobs,” seeks to promote the diversity of First Nations art and design. It will feature a captivating array of works from renowned artists such as Tony Albert, Treahna Hamm, Kent Morris, Marlene Gilson, and many more.

Wurrdha Marra is a testament to the enduring impact of First Nations artists and designers on art in Australia and worldwide. Tony Ellwood AM, NGV Director, commits to celebrating extraordinary practitioners, solidifying NGV’s status as a premier cultural destination in Australia.

An exhibition showcases Burrara women’s creative prowess, featuring meticulously crafted an-gujechiya (fish traps) from Maningrida, exemplifying cultural expression and artistry. The weaving techniques, passed down through generations, combine self-expression and cultural preservation. Keemon Williams’ resin boomerangs meld artistic expression and identity commentary, spotlighting intersectional experiences of queer and First Nations individuals.

Tony Albert’s thought-provoking work, “History Repeats, 2023,” critically explores appropriation and depictions of Indigenous peoples in mass-produced objects. Michelle Pulutuwayu Woody Minnipinni’s “Ngiya Murrakupupuni, 2023,” intricately using Tiwi comb and ochres, celebrates her deep Tiwi heritage connection.

Gwenneth Blitner’s “Mijal, 2021-22” vividly captures Roper River’s cultural essence and childhood memories with bold colors and intricate detailing. Guruwuy Murrinyina’s elegant bark painting, “Dhatam, 2023,” delves into spiritual symbolism, portraying the Rainbow Serpent’s significance to the Gälpu people. Amrita Hepi’s “Scripture for a Smoke Screen: Episode 1 – Dolphin House, 2022” challenges intelligence and communication norms through dolphin-human interaction.

Myles Russell-Cook, Senior Curator, underscores “Wurrdha Marra’s” significance, tracing cultural knowledge’s legacy through pivotal moments in Australian art history. Spotlighting pioneering artists, it emphasizes innovation in expression while safeguarding and revitalizing customary cultural practices and design traditions.


“Wurrdha Marra” anchors the gallery’s second and third levels, complemented by a complete rehang of the permanent collection. Explore 65,000 years of Australian art history, from First Peoples’ practices to contemporary works, in this reimagined collection.


Free entry to ‘Wurrdha Marra’ at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, showcasing at Fed Square, Melbourne. For more information, please visit ngv.melbourne. Don’t miss this exceptional opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of First Nations art and design.

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Source: https://www.architectureanddesign.com.au/news/wurrdha-marra-ngv-fed-square

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