What's On

Explore our calendar of exhibitions and events highlighting significant art and materials from across the University’s Indigenous collections. Keep up to date on opportunities to engage with The Place.

Coming up

Betty Muffler, (Pitjantjatjara born 1944)
Maringka Burton, (Pitjantjatjara born 1950)
Ngangkari Ngura (Healing Country), 2022
University of Melbourne Art Collection. Commissioned, 2022
© Betty Muffler and Maringka Burton

65,000 Years: A Short History of Australian Art

Comprising over 400 works from across time, language groups, regions and art movements, 65,000 Years: A Short History of Australian Art will relaunch the Ian Potter Museum of Art in late May 2024, after significant renovation and an extended period of closure. This momentous and courageous exhibition, curated by esteemed Indigenous scholar, Marcia Langton AO, examines the relatively recent rise to prominence of Indigenous art in Australia and proclaims the importance of Indigenous knowledge and agency. The exhibition’s ironic and provocative title refers to the belated and reluctant acceptance of Indigenous art into the fine art canon by Australian curators, collectors, art critics and historians in the last quarter of the twentieth century.

By engaging with the complex philosophy and powerful aesthetic of the only art and culture that are unique to this continent, the exhibition will invite contemplation about Australia’s unsettling history, including the ugly pseudo-science of eugenics and the international trade in human remains that was practised at the University of Melbourne. 65,000 Years: A Short History of Australian Art will bring to public attention cultural objects from the University’s collections that have rarely seen the light of day and will awaken us to the power of them.

MADAYIN: Eight decades of Australian Aboriginal bark painting from Yirrkala 

Maḏayin is the result of a seven-year collaboration between Kluge-Ruhe and Indigenous knowledge holders from the Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre in northern Australia. It chronicles the rise of a globally significant art movement as told from the perspective of the Yolŋu people. Maḏayin presents more than 90 iconic paintings on eucalyptus bark, inviting audiences across the US to discover this inspiring story of the sacred, the beautiful, and the power of art.

Maḏayin: Eight Decades of Aboriginal Australian Bark Painting from Yirrkala is organized by the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection in partnership with the Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala. It opened at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth in September 2022 and is currently touring the United States.

Visit: https://kluge-ruhe.org/exhibition/madayin/