FIRST PEOPLES ART CURATION METHODOLOGY AND KEY ANALYSIS OF AUDIENCE INTERPRETATION IN VICTORIA, FOCUSING ON THE KOORIE HERITAGE TRUST, INC. AND MELBOURNE MUSEUM.
Wotjobaluk/Djubagalk/Jadawadjali Arts practitioner, Curator and Teacher
In 2022, the push for insights into First Peoples lives and culture continues to gain traction in museums and galleries in Victoria. Redressing ethnocentric assumptions and stereotypes via highly sagacious exhibitions and programs, creates hope for change in perceptions and encouraging audiences to delve deeper into more balanced views of First Peoples culture and connections.
Gaining insight into historical truths as apart from bias and colonial hegemonism, continues to reveal a sovereignty and truthtelling that is enabling a light to be shown in the dark corners of our hidden histories in Victoria. Curated exhibitions by professional First Peoples curators continue to extend the boundaries, and analysing audience feedback continues to provide a strong practical link into analysing our values as a society and what has been crudely placed to the side. However, subtle shifts are identifying exactly what First Peoples have been championing for some time, as to how valuable and special cultural knowledge contributes in the south east of Australia. In asserting this knowledge, change can happen and channelling change into cultural institutions enables a gradual activation of denouncing privilege, creating cultural strengthening in ways that delve deep into the corners of hidden historical experience and the importance of art in challenging assumptions.
This project analyses audience data and ways of presenting specific exhibitions, ways in which a select number of practicing artists draw on assumptions and truth to weave a new narrative, and how this translates to a broader audience. Recommendations are provided in relation to the consideration of new ways of collecting data, feeding this data back into learnings in relation to interpreting and understanding First Peoples, and accelerating the dialogues surrounding cultural strengthening through art and culture.