NGUJARN AND NAKUN: BELONGING IN THE OTHER

Richard Mullett (Gunnai) Kind (Bream) acrylic on canvas, 125 x 250cm (detail), Koorie Heritage Trust Collection

Curated by Steaphan Paton.

Artists: Albert Mullett, Rachel Mullett, Kerrie Clarke, Kynan Clarke, Tehya Clarke, Seamus Clarke, Liam Clarke, Richard Mullett, Michael Mullett, Colin ‘Chook’ Mullett, Jenniffer Mullett, Ben Pender, Luke Johnson, Hollie Johnson, Steaphan Paton, Timothy Paton, Doris Paton, Sienna Paton, Njarala Paton.

Across four generations in the Mullett family, cultural knowledge and connection to land has driven an artistic tradition that has been passed down from the oldest members of the family through to the youngest. Curated by one of the younger members of the family Steaphan Paton, the exhibition Ngujarn and Nakun: Belonging in the other presents the works of the Mullett family; the late Uncle Albert and Aunty Rachel, their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. The works have been drawn from the private collections of the family and the Koorie Heritage Trust’s artworks and artefacts collection.

Featured in the exhibition is an installation of wooden tools such as boomerangs, shields, and digging sticks, created by master craftsman and community leader Uncle Albert Mullett with his son Richard, both of whom have works in several state and national collections; paintings by Aunty Rachel Mullett; prints and ceramics by daughter Jennifer Mullett, who has exhibited nationally and internationally with works in the National Gallery of Victoria; along with works by younger generations including artist and guest curator Steaphan Paton.

Curator and artist Steaphan Paton has said of the exhibition, “Showcasing my family’s artworks shows a continuation of culture, an unbroken line connecting the artists in my family from my generation back past my great grandparents’. This is not only a demonstration of the power of culture and knowledge in my family, but also of a continued cultural resistance to colonisation. The stories and knowledges handed down by Nan and Pop are about our way of thinking, our way of being and our way of existing in the world, it is how we know who we are and about where we have belonging.”

Steaphan Paton is a Gunnai artist, whose practice is heavily influenced by his country, and the land on which he grew up in the Gippsland area. A young artist in the family, Paton has been shortlisted for the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards on multiple occasions and was awarded Highly Commended in 2007. His works have been exhibited in the National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Melbourne Museum, The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Next Wave Festival, Latrobe Regional Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Paton’s works ahve been sent into Deep Space through the ForeverNow project launched at MonaFoma and has just recently had his first solo show in Tokyo Japan. HIs works are held in collections at the National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne Museum and several international and private collections.

This exhibition has been supported by:

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