8 March – 7 July 2019
Presenting a cacophonous array of artistic voices and perspectives, National Anthem brought together 24 artists, from a range of generations, who critically addressed Australian national identity. Built around key works in the Michael Buxton Collection, together with works sourced from beyond the collection, this project reflected on the ways that the desire for a singular national identity often excludes Indigenous histories and denies the multiplicity of voices, cultures and experiences that enrich, contest and enhance Australian life.
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Channelling humour and satire and engaging in tactics such as play, intervention and confrontation, the artists in National Anthem sought self-determination and collectively held a mirror up to contemporary Australia, prompting new representations of who we are or who we might aspire to become.

Artists: Brook Andrew, Abdul Abdullah, Kay Abude, Hoda Afshar, Tony Albert, Ali Gumillya Baker, Archie Barry, Richard Bell, Daniel Boyd, Juan Davila, Destiny Deacon, Janenne Eaton, Tony Garifalakis, Eugenia Lim, Tracey Moffatt, Callum Morton, Hoang Tran Nguyen, Raquel Ormella, Mike Parr, Steven Rhall, Tony Schwensen, Christian Thompson, Paul Yore and Siying Zhou.

Guest Curated by Kate Just.


Exhibition Catalogue

National Anthem focuses on artistic engagements with contested notions of contemporary Australian identity, particularly from a perspective of difference and/or exclusion, and foregrounds a multiplicity of artistic voices from both within and outside the collection loudly and simultaneously.

Contributors include Sophie Knezic, Kate Just, Andy Butler and Linda Short. Foreward by Ryan Johnston.



Download exhibition artwork labels to suit your viewing needs.


Download education resources suitable for secondary school level students.



This exhibition is supported through the Directorate at the Victorian College of the Arts as well as the UoM
National Anthem is presented in association with The Human Rights Arts and Film Festival (HRAFF)

Image credit: Brook Andrew Emu 2004, The University of Melbourne Art Collection, Michael Buxton Collection Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Michael and Janet Buxton 2018 © the artist