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This is a curator-led tour of the exhibition Blak Jewellery – Finding Past · Linking Present – a contemporary jewellery design exhibition by eleven Victorian First Nations Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants from the inaugural year of the KHT’s Blak Design Program. This exhibition, and the program it springs from, continue the discourse surrounding the promotion of First Nations designs, and encourages non-Indigenous interest in the principles of Blak design that KHT had previously explored. It asks key questions: What is Blak design? Who decides what Blak design is? How are these designs perceived without diminishing their integrity? The tour will explore the tangible outcomes of interrogating these questions by way of eleven distinct practices which reflect and connect with Country and culture.
Gail Harradine is a Wotjobaluk Post-graduate trained curator and arts practitioner from Dimboola. Her focus has always been on South East Australian First Nations and Clans since her thesis on Aboriginal art in the Melbourne area in the 1990s. Gail is a qualified Secondary teacher and studied Indigenous resource management and has lectured at Federation University (Horsham campus) in Aboriginal Health and Aboriginal history. She enjoys being creative with silver and utilising traditional techniques related to women’s adornment, photography and printmaking. As Curatorial Manager at the Koorie Heritage Trust, she works with a team that includes the Collections Co-ordinator, Public Programs Co-ordinator, Curatorial staff and Blak Design program Co-ordinator to continually challenge herself in all that she contributes.
Travis Curtin is Exhibitions and Collections Curator at Koorie Heritage Trust on the lands of the Kulin Nation. Prior to this he was Curator at La Trobe Art Institute in Bendigo on Djaara Country. Travis has worked professionally in the arts sector for over fifteen years, as a curator, lighting designer, production coordinator, technician, musician and sessional lecturer. In his curatorial practice, Travis has worked with a diverse range of Australian contemporary artists and has a particular interest in collaborative curatorial models and working with First Nations contemporary artists and communities. His practice is characterised by a collaborative spirit and an approach towards programming that reflects Australia’s diverse cultures, based on establishing and nurturing meaningful and ongoing relationships with artists, collaborators and organisations. ganisations.
Pierra Van Sparkes is a Pibbulman Noongar artist and Assistant Curator at the Koorie Heritage Trust based on Kulin Country. Their work is inspired by the shared history, feelings and encounters that shape lived experiences of Aboriginality amidst manifold blak identities. Working with photography, video and digital media, they explore experiences of place, belonging and interrogate mythscapes that inform notions of Indigenous authenticity, settler-colonial supremacy and the modes in which they manifest.