10 December 2021 – 8 May 2022

Observance brought together six First Nations women with strong culturally led practices. Offering a selection of works that delved into the ongoing impacts of colonial violence, artists share their experiences of generational grief for family, language and Country. These challenging narratives, including accounts of slavery and servitude, sat alongside empowering works that revealed living, breathing connections to culture that have been maintained throughout all time.

The act of observing requires a commitment to recognise and honour what is viewed, to look deeply at the works and consider our shared histories and responsibilities. Through videos, paintings, sculptural installations and text-based works, Observance directly challenged skewed historical narratives that have endured, and asked audiences to acknowledge their own role in these unresolved histories.

Featuring Buxton Collection artist Julie Dowling (Badimaya) with Karla Dickens (Wiradjuri), Julie Gough (Trawlwoolway), Lisa Hilli (Gunantuna, Tolai people, Papua New Guinea), Betty Muffler (Pitjantjatjara), Angela Tiatia (Samoa).

Curated by Hannah Presley and Samantha Comte.



Download exhibition artwork labels to suit your viewing needs.

Image credit: Julie Dowling The Elements: O-thero (Earth) 2008 Courtesy of the artist and Niagara Gallery, Melbourne and Yamaji Art, Geraldton. Photograph: Christian Capurro © Julie Dowling