The Living Archive of Aboriginal Art and Knowledge – Maree Clarke, Mitch Mahoney, Fran Edmonds (University of Melbourne)

October 28, 2021 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Olin Moctezuma

The Living Archive of Aboriginal Art and Knowledge project seeks to reveal the dynamic and interconnected relationships of First Nations Australians with their collections located in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums (GLAMs) across the world. Part of this process includes exploring Storytelling as an Indigenous method of enquiry that challenges the way ‘archives’ structure Indigenous histories and cultural heritage. Storytelling is an embodied practice and can be reflected through oral transmission (often supporting traditional languages); artmaking; photography; performance; writing and other expressions of cultural production. The Living Archive is supported by the practice of Storytelling and is entwined with an ongoing past, located in the present and future orientated – reflecting Indigenous knowledge systems. In this discussion we will outline our concept of the Living Archive in relation to the work of Mutti Mutti/Yorta Yorta/Wemba Wemba/Boonwurrung artist Maree Clarke and her great nephew Mitch Mahoney (Boonwurrung/Barkindji), as they work in Maree’s backyard/artists’ studio to revitalise their Ancestral material culture and stories. We will also discuss our work with the Ngukurr community in southeast Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, reinstating their ongoing connections with their Ancestral collections held in GLAMs to produce a Living Archive.

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