11 June 2018

Artwork inspired by the State Collection is to go on display as part of an art exhibition, 660: Calling Home which is part of unsettle by Digi Youth Arts, Queensland Museum’s artist-in-residence.

The eight talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people behind 660: Calling Home have been mentored by renowned artist Ryan Presley who provided advice on producing the 12 art works which include a mix of mediums including drawings, paintings, projections, sculpture and poetry.

unsettle was recently awarded a 2018 Museum and Galleries National Award (MAGNA) for Indigenous Project or Keeping Place.

“Winning the MAGNA award has shown that there is a focus and need for grassroots organisations to work with large institutions to provide quality Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content to be showcased on the floor,” unsettle artist and Digi Youth Arts Board Member Declan Beetson said.

“It is necessary for Museums and Galleries around Australia to follow in the Queensland Museum’s footsteps to give an organic showcase of the stories and art of the Indigenous youth,”

Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch said this exhibition, in partnership between Queensland Museum and Digi Youth Arts, would allow audiences to interpret culturally-significant stories from the past.

“This collaboration shows an innovative and respectful way for our State collections to inform the art and stories for today’s contemporary artists,” Minister Enoch said.

“The exhibition 660: Calling Home provides an opportunity for visitors to the museum to connect with new work from Queensland’s emerging talent.”

Queensland Museum Network Acting CEO Dr Jim Thompson said the Museum’s State Collection has served as inspiration for the works of art created as part of unsettle.

“This group of eight talented artists have toured the Queensland Museum and from this have created some magnificent pieces of art that reflect their own sentiments from their interaction with the items within the State Collection,” he said

“For the past 8 months they have worked extremely hard to produce these artworks and I encourage all visitors to the museum to visit 660: Calling Home to view these pieces up close.”

The exhibition, 660: Calling Home draws its name from the artwork 660, which was created by Aidan Rowlingson and is a direct response to the repatriation program at  Queensland Museum.

“The Queensland Museum currently holds 660 Indigenous ancestral remains and this necklace contains 660 individually sculpted beads depicting human remains,” he said.

“Repatriation is a responsibility that museums, institutions and Aboriginal People and Torres Strait Islanders must wear.”

Since the program launched in February 2017, 64 young people involved with unsettle have produced two exhibitions in street art and visual art, a theatre work, three short films and two dance works. The final project is a music collaboration that will culminate in a recording and performance in June this year.

unsettle is a Digi Youth Arts Creative Initiative supported by Queensland Museum and funded by the Australian Government through the Indigenous Languages and Arts program, aimed at helping artists and organisations to shape our cultural landscape, increase cultural diversity, and inspire, educate and entertain audiences.

660: Calling Home will run at Queensland Museum until 19th August  2018.

Queensland Museum in the past collected remains and sacred items from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities without permission or consent. In a new role as caretaker, Queensland Museum works with Aboriginal People and Torres Strait Islanders to provide a culturally appropriate and proactive repatriation program to return sensitive items to Country.

Queensland Museum hosts its first ever Blackout!

Join us in celebration of Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders culture on new date Friday 22 June 2018 for our 18+ after-hours Blackout event.

Featuring talented young artists from Digi Youth Arts and the Museum’s unsettle program, immerse yourself and be inspired by panel discussions, poetry, weaving, live music, roving performances, visual art and short films.

An evening not to be missed as we showcase Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders history, heritage and culture.

Adult (18+ only): $15

Price includes all booking fees.

Interview opportunities

·         Alethea Beetson, Indigenous Engagement Coordinator, Queensland Museum and Artistic Director, Digi Youth Arts

·         Imelda Miller, unsettle Curator, Queensland Museum

·         Bianca Beetson, Board Member, Digi Youth Arts

·         660: Calling Home Artists

o   Kiana Larkins 

o   Dajarra Browne

o   Dylan Mooney

o   Aidan Rowlingson

o   Emma Hollingsworth

o   Declan Beetson

o   Georgia Walsh

o   Roxy Jones

Christine Robertson, Queensland Museum, 3840 7789, 0417 741 710
Kylie Hay, Queensland Museum, 3842 9388, 0434 565 852