Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum to open Evolution: Torres Strait Masks, on loan from the National Museum of Australia and Gab Titui Cultural Centre

Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum will open a remarkable exhibition of masks from the Torres Strait this month, in the temporary gallery inside its First Peoples gallery. The exhibition opens from September 15, running until January 28, 2019.

Koedal Awgadhalayg by Alick Tipoti with headdresses Badhu (Badu), Kala Lagaw Ya language group - Gab Titui Cultural Centre

Evolution: Torres Strait Masks is comprised of 12 striking masks and other related cultural materials, celebrating the rich and continuing tradition in the Torres Strait, which still resonates with communities today. Developed by the Gab Titui Cultural Centre on Waiben (Thursday Island), in partnership with the National Museum of Australia, this exhibition explores the longstanding importance of ceremonial masks in Torres Strait culture, and how they influence contemporary art forms.

The masks have been created by contemporary Torres Strait artists Andrew Passi, Eddie Nona, Vincent Babia, Kapua Gutchen Senior, Yessie Mosby, Alick Tipoti, Milton Savage and Seriat Young.

Gab Titui’s lead curator on the exhibition, Leitha Assan, says, “The exhibition takes you on a journey from time immemorial when masks were used in ceremonial rituals involving art, theatre and dance by our ancestors, and we show how these historic artefacts have inspired new works that are constantly developing and changing.”

Evolution: Torres Strait Islander Masks sits perfectly within Museums Victoria’s proud commitment to placing First Peoples’ living cultures, histories and knowledge at the core of its practise.

After exploring Evolution, visitors can absorb the powerful stories and knowledge in the acclaimed First Peoples exhibition. Learn of the strength and commitment of some of Victoria’s most influential First Peoples women in the ‘Because of her, we can!’ exhibition. And experience ‘For Country, for Nation’, which relates the important narratives and experiences of First Peoples service men and women, including some Torres Strait Islander stories.

Evolution: Torres Strait Masks
Free with museum entry
15 September 2018–28 January 2019
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Evolution: Torres Strait Masks is a travelling exhibition from the National Museum of Australia developed in partnership with the Gab Titui Cultural Centre and assisted by the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program.


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