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The Canoe Project – Stories from the Collection

Exhibition dates: Saturday 14 October 2017 until Wednesday 28 February 2018
Venue: Koorie Heritage Trust, Level 3, Yarra Building, Federation Square, Melbourne

Gain a deeper understanding of the significance of items from the Koorie Heritage Trust (KHT) collection with The Canoe Project – Stories from the Collection.

This exhibition brings together artefacts and artworks from the KHT collection and new oral history films recorded with six Victorian Aboriginal artists and activists, in order to share the historical, cultural, social and emotional significance of the selected items.

Displayed in the KHT’s four-metre-long Canoe Table, the objects were chosen to illustrate an important aspect of the personal, cultural and artistic lives of the participants, all of whom have artworks of their own included in the KHT’s collection.

Fascinating objects featured in the exhibition include echidna quill and kangaroo tooth jewellery, stone tools, axe heads and feather 'flowers'. Visitors will be able to watch the films on their smart phones via unique QR codes as they discover new objects within the drawers of the Canoe Table.

The Canoe Project is a collaboration between the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and the Koorie Heritage Trust, a community owned and run Indigenous gallery and cultural centre celebrating the continuing journey of the Aboriginal peoples of South Eastern Australia.

The project aims to explore our shared interests in how artefacts and objects play a key role in symbolising interactions and relationships, making tangible links to community, continuing cultures and connection to country, and shaping identities past and present through embodied memories.

The raw footage and edited films created for this project will be acquired into the Koorie Heritage Trust’s Oral History Collection.

With special thanks to the artists and community members who participated in this project. The newly recorded oral histories and the respective artefacts and artworks are currently accessible and on display as part of our Level 3, public collection display.

Each of the recorded oral histories can also be accessed via the links below (users will be re-directed to vimeo):

With special thanks to the artists ands community members who participated in this project – Mick Harding (Taungurung), Kelly Koumalatsos (Wergaia/ Wemba Wemba), Marilyne Nicholls (Wadi Wadi / Yorta Yorta / Dja Dja Wurrung / Ngarringdjeri/ Latji Latji/ Yulpagulp/ Barrappa Barrappa), Brendan Kennedy (Tatti Tatti/ Wadi Wadi/ Mutti Mutti), Glenda Nicholls (Wadi Wadi/ Yorta Yorta/ Ngarringdjeri) and Jefa Greenaway (Wailwan/ Kamilaroi).”

Image: Stone tools, Koorie Heritage Trust collection, Graham Baring 2009