Blak Dot Gallery
Exhibition to 27 May Free


The photography exhibition is free and does not require a ticket. Check opening times.

Imagine seeing images frozen in time of your ancestors in museums, taken by people documenting an ‘exotic’ sighting. Who has the power over their image?

Ngioka Bunda-Heath’s new dance piece and photographic exhibition explores the idea of shifting the gaze and refocusing the colonial lens that has publicly framed her ancestors.

Extending on her 2019 YIRRAMBOI Festival work, Blood Quantum, about her mother’s story, Birrpai turns to Ngioka’s father’s heritage; to her great-grandmother captured by the camera of a ‘culturalist’.

She puts a First Nations perspective on colonial photography alongside contemporary dance that has taken her to stages around the world.

Birrpai Photography Exhibition

Blak Dot Gallery
Thu 29 April—Thu 27 May 2021
Thu to Sun, 12—4pm

Ngioka Bunda-Heath’s solo Blood Quantum, beginning with the dancer's strongly weighted plunging to the earth over and over, was poignant and challenging. Video and voice told the tragedy of children being taken from their mother as Bunda-Heath’s movement gradually intensified to thrashing despair.
Struggles for survival embodied in dance By Kim Dunphy

Dates & Times

Sat 08 May  7pm
Sun 09 May 7pm
Wed 12 May  7pm
Thu 13 May  7pm
Fri 14 May  7pm

Runtime: 1hr

Photography Exhibition
Thu 6 May—Sun 23 May
Thu—Sat: 12-5pm and Sun: 12-4pm

Photography Exhibition Opening
Sat 08 May  2—4pm


  • Full $28
  • Concession $23
  • Blaktix $10
  • Exhibition Free

Transaction fees may apply

Key Artists

Ngioka Bunda-Heath (Wakka Wakka, Ngugi, Birrpai)


  • Choreographer and Performer: Ngioka Bunda-Heath
  • Cultural Consultant and Performer: John Heath
  • Dramaturge/Movement Director: Joel Bray
  • Mentor: Theodore Cassady
  • Sound Engineer: Daniel Nixon
  • Lighting Designer: Siobhain Geaney
  • Stage Manager: Steph Cox
  • Producer: Erica McCalman
  • Graffic / Props Designer: Evis Heath


Auslan Interpreted

Sun 09 May, 7pm performance


Dreamtime story told containing suicide and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander are warned that the following contains images of the deceased.

Additional Info

Presented by YIRRAMBOI Festival in association with Blak Dot Gallery.

Birrpai is co-commissioned by Chunky Move and Next Wave. Supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, City of Moreland, YIRRAMBOI Festival Resilience in Isolation Fund, Brunswick Mechanics Institute, Besen Family Foundation and Lucy Guerin Inc via a studio residency at WXYZ Studio.

Images courtesy of the Australian Museum Archives.

Photo by James Henry.