6 May—6 Jun


Curated by Kimberley Moulton, Artistic Associate RISING and Senior Curator South Eastern Aboriginal Collections Museums Victoria

regenerate: bring into renewed existence; generate again
disrupt: the act of stopping something from continuing in the normal way
restore: to bring back into use something that has been absent for a period of time

Objects occupy a space in the multiverse of time, acting act as portals of memory and experience, both light and dark. In a museum they carry histories of wisdom, trauma and intrigue; but behind glass and walls—and in the absence of human connection—some stories remain untold. Uncovering these truths allows new futures to emerge.

MOVING OBJECTS asks First Peoples artists to create new work responding to the significant collections of Museums Victoria. Presented as projection, installation, and performance across the city, the work is a manifestation of the transformative potential of opening up access to collections held in museums; continuing the connections to historical material through contemporary creative practice.

Dr Lou Bennett Am (Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung), Wurukur Djuanduk Balag—Ancestors Are Calling, 2021.

With special guests Uncle Herb Patten (Ganai-Kurnai, Yorta Yorta and Wiradjuri), Aunty Joy Wandin-Murphy (Wurundjeri) Deline Briscoe (Yalanji), Emma Donovan (Naaguja and Yamatji) and Silo SQ.

Song composed in multiple First Peoples languages speaking to the spirit and energy of objects, held in museum collections, calling for their families to take them home.

Wurkur Djuanduk Balag—Ancestors Are Calling is performed at Melbourne Museum on 6 June at 7:30pm.

Daniel Riley (Wiradjuri), mulunma—Inside Within, 2021

With composer James Howard (Jaadwa) and filmmaker Cass Mortimer-Eipper.

A mediation on the body as the archive; and differing Wesetern and First Peoples archival ideologies. Contemporary dance and choreography projected onto Melbourne Museum from dusk to dawn.


Through posters, large scale prints and installation the following artists have developed new work for MOVING OBJECTS, to be shown across the city. The collected works are a call and response between the historical collections of Museums Victoria and the artists’ individual practices, that speak to themes of country and cultural connections across Victoria and New South Wales.

Moorina Bonini (Wurundjeri and Yorta Yorta)
Jarra Karalinar Steel (Boonwurrung, Wemba Wemba)
Jenna Lee (Larrakia, Wardaman and Karajarri)
Kaiela Arts Shepparton
Dr Brian Martin (Bundjalung, Muruwari and Kamilaroi)
Coree Thorpe with daughters Ngari and Kyah Thorpe (Wurundjeri, Gunnai, Yorta Yorta and Gunditjmara)

When community access and connect to objects the spirit of the collections are renewed and activated, the colonial powers that collected them decentred, new voices heard and the old brought back into being. Contemporary practice and artistic intervention in museums are crucial for the ongoing cultural maintenance of the objects, it provides opportunity to reflect on our past and to create futures for the next generation to understand and connect.
Kimberley Moulton (Yorta Yorta), MOVING OBJECTS curator, RISING Artistic Associate and Senior Curator South Eastern Aboriginal Collections, Museums Victoria

Dates & Times

Thu 06 May—Sun 06 June

Additional Info

Image credit: Dr Lou Bennett, Dja Dja Wurrung and Yorta Yorta holding a Dja Dja Wurrung stone tool, c1860s. Photo by Eugene Hyland