Skip to content

Ancestral Connections


Event Status

The continuation of Aboriginal art and cultural practices has been vital in the ongoing resistance to colonisation in Australia. Since European colonisation, various practices have been historically denied and disrupted, and the knowledge of many techniques has been lost.

Yorta Yorta/Wamba Wamba/Mutti Mutti/Boonwurrung artist and designer Maree Clarke has played a pivotal role in reviving south-east Australian Aboriginal art and cultural practices, by creating works which place them in conversation with contemporary art practices and ideas.

This panel discussion brings together artists, writers and curators whose work, like Clarke’s, engages with lost or dormant elements of Aboriginal culture. Clarke – whose exhibition Ancestral Memories is currently showing at NGV – will be joined by Myles Russell-Cook, Acting Senior Curator of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, and Claire G Coleman, author of Terra Nullius, The Old Lie and Lies, Damned Lies. 

Together, they’ll explore the resilience of traditional Indigenous art and storytelling practices, the role of creatives in reviving culture, and how research, interpretation and curation of Indigenous art can ensure that knowledge continues to be protected from colonisation.

Presented in partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria

The online bookseller for this event is Hill of Content Bookshop


Maree Clarke

Maree Clarke is a Yorta Yorta/Wamba Wamba/Mutti Mutti/Boonwurrung woman who grew up in northwest Victoria, mainly in Mildura, on the banks of the Murray River. Maree has been a practicing artist living and working in Melbourne for the last three decades and is a pivotal figure in the reclamation of... Read more

Claire G. Coleman

Claire G. Coleman is a Noongar woman whose family have belonged to the south coast of Western Australia since long before history started being recorded. Claire writes fiction, essays, poetry and art writing while either living in Naarm (Melbourne) or on the road. During an extended circuit of the c... Read more

Myles Russell-Cook

Myles is the Senior Curator of Australian and First Nations Art at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). Myles is responsible for the NGV’s collections of Australian Art, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art and the Art of Oceania, as well as work by First Nations artists globally. Myles h... Read more

Daniel James

Daniel is an award-winning Yorta Yorta Melbourne based writer and broadcaster. He hosts the Mission on 3RRR and is the winner of the 2018 Horne Prize for his essay Ten More Days. Born in Melbourne and raised on Taungurong country in North East Victoria, Daniel’s work explores notions of empathy, i... Read more


More details

Stay up to date with our upcoming events and special announcements by subscribing to the Wheeler Centre's mailing list.

View our privacy policy
Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.