Who are you and what do you do?
I am a curator writer and proud Yorta Yorta woman, originally from Shepparton in country Victoria. I come from a family of creatives, educators, and political activists.
Recently I joined RISING as Artistic Associate, along with continuing my role as Senior Curator South Eastern Aboriginal Collections at Museums Victoria.
How did you get into this art business?
I write a lot. My cousin, Uncle Wayne, taught me to use "the spear of the pen", to use our voice to create change, inspire and remember. My Dad taught me the importance of healing and cultural strength through art, so it's very much a part of who I am.
I think that's where I developed a sensibility around curating, as it's really storytelling; interpreting histories and seeing the potential in what the artist or object can express and creating an experience around that.
I am passionate about supporting First Peoples cultures from Australia and the world and interested in anti-colonial curatorial methodology and First Nations representation in spaces like museums and galleries and platforms like festivals.
What has been your career journey as a curator?
In my practice I work with knowledges, histories, and futures at the intersection of historical collections and contemporary art and making.
I have worked in curatorial roles at Melbourne Museum for over ten years working with the Victorian Aboriginal community and the collections. In 2018, I was the museums lead curator for Mandela: My Life, an exhibition on Nelson Mandela at Melbourne Museum in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and IEC exhibitions.
Over the last ten years I have critically engaged through fellowships and curatorial projects with collections, archives and contemporary art discourse across Australia, Europe, United Kingdom and North America and have independently curated shows in various art museums across Australia and the USA.
What interests you about RISING?
The potential of the multiple layers of story, theme and connection to place is what excited me when I first began discussing RISING with co-artistic directors, Hannah Fox and Gideon Obarzanek, and their team.
The artistic vision they shared inspired me and having been a part of the A Call To Artists (ACTA) process, I got a sense of the rigour in their work and refreshing creative projects that will provide Melbourne and local artists meaningful experiences.
The artists that came through the ACTA process are seriously amazing. It's a privilege to be able to sit and read through applications and talk with creatives at the seed planting stage of ideas.
What drew you to joining the RISING team?
What drew me to work with RISING was the commitment to challenging the status quo of curatorial models and power dynamics.
It's a curatorium of brilliant minds working to properly embed First Peoples creatives into the festival. There is respect for the knowledge and Sovereignty of the lands they work on, and the community they work with, across the team, which is really encouraging.
I was also really drawn to the thematic approach and its links to our cosmologies, the lunar motions of cycles, and regenerative experiences that have an incredible sense of togetherness.
Right now, art like this is so important. It nourishes us; it takes care of us and calls to account the rubbish behaviour in society. We need all of that more than ever.