They Shield Us

They Shield Us, Memory Mixtape and Land Currents opens at the Koorie Heritage Trust Saturday open until Sunday 29 September 2019.


Coinciding with Melbourne Fashion Week, They Shield Us is an exhibition that draws on the Koorie Heritage Trust’s Collection along with newly commissioned works by artists – Djirri Djirri Dance Group, Isobel Morphy-Walsh, Laura Thompson, Lisa Waup, Marilyne Nicholls and Yaraan Bundle.


From emu feather skirts and headbands, to possum skin cloaks and kangaroo tooth necklaces, the Koorie Heritage Trust Collection includes a vast array of wearable contemporary and historic jewellery, clothing and body adornments.


Each of the artists will spend time with the Koorie Heritage Trust amongst the Collection and take inspiration from these cultural items – items that skilfully combine layers of stories woven, stitched, painted and sewn into them.  The exhibition will explore how the acts of creating, sharing and wearing, reflects the strength and resilience in individual identities as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.


The new works will be exhibited with the collection pieces that inspired them.  Along with immersive wallpaper installations of indigenous models wearing both the older and newly created works.


The Koorie Heritage Trust holds the largest collection in the world solely dedicated to the art and culture of the Aboriginal people of South Eastern Australia.


They Shield Us has been curated by Kate ten Buuren and Moorina Bonini.


In Memory Mixtape, Neika Lehman (trawlwoolway) curates a line-up of films that emphasise one of Blak cinema’s strongest joining links: memory.


Memory Mixtape focuses on films that contest official histories, celebrate ancestral embodiment, and are documents for change. Blak cinema is used as evidence for land rights claims, royal commissions and is often the mouthpiece for historical truths colonial Australia tries to forget.


The films include:  Lament (2013), dir. Genevieve Grieves; Confessions of a Headhunter (2000), dir. Sally Riley; The Mermaids, Or Aiden in Wonderland (2018), dir. Elizabeth A. Povinelli & the Karrabing Film Collective; Crime Scene (2019), dir. Julie Gough; Women of the Sun – Episode 1 (1981) dir. James Ricketson, and Black Man’s Houses (1992) dir. Steve Thomas, The Secrets of Pecan Summer (2017), dir. James Falconer Marshall, Julie Nimmo, and A Walk With Words: The Poetry of Romaine Moreton (2000), dir. Erica Glynn.


Land Currents is a collection of digital prints on paper by Taungurung artist/designer Maddi Moser.


In this exhibition, Moser conveys her love of Country by expressing that “land is something we share, not something we can own.”


Land Currents focuses on the land and how it ties the artist to her Taungurung culture. By

digitally altering photographs, Moser explores how the natural world connects all people by visually representing the energy that exists in the earth, creating a multitude of connections across land and water.


Maddi Moser is a Taungurung photographer and designer based in Wodonga. She uses her digital skills to create vivid mixed-media artworks that acknowledge traditional Aboriginal elements through a contemporary perspective. Maddi’s work is concerned with themes around the environment, her culture and language.