Gung | create, make, do, love

Artist Kelly Koumalatsos

12 December 2020 – 30 May 2021 at Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Gung | create, make, do, love shares a series of works from acclaimed visual artist Kelly Koumalatsos, with 24 new and existing works on display in Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum.

A Wemba Wemba and Wergaia woman, Kelly Koumalatsos is an award-winning Victorian Aboriginal artist with Greek heritage. She is renowned for her signature technique, uka ngalung wooleh (to paint with possum). Working with possum skin for over 30 years, Kelly’s work is a striking statement about the intersections of identity and history within the modern world.

Kelly’s work encompasses traditional and contemporary materials, including ancestral Wemba Wemba and Wergaia possum skin cloak making, and screen printing with fur. The powerful works explore the dichotomies of the self, identity, family, colonisation, resilience and rediscovery.

Through her art, Kelly reclaims, rediscovers and celebrates the stories of her ancestors. Their strength, resilience and determination, and the coming together of Wemba Wemba and Wergaia people.

The compelling combination of photographs, printmaking techniques and three-dimensional objects are at once timeless and ethereal, contemporary and historical, reflecting the beauty of Wemba Wemba and Wergaia country, cultural identity and a celebration of family.

‘I have been in wonder of Kelly’s work since the 1990s and I am delighted to have her work at Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre – being able to see and experience her expressions of family, as well as the living connections that exist between us, our Elders and our Ancestors,’ says Shannon Faulkhead, Head of First Peoples at Museums Victoria.

Living and practising on the Bellarine Peninsula in regional Victoria, Kelly was the winner of the prestigious Creative Victoria Award for Excellence in any media at the 2019 Koorie Art Show, with Kelly's work found in collections including the Koorie Heritage Trust, the City of Melbourne Arts and Heritage Collection, Yarra Arts, City of Yarra, Maroondah City Council and Wagga Wagga Art Gallery.

Gung | create, make, do, love opens on Saturday 12 December in Birrarung Gallery, Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Melbourne Museum. Free with Museum entry, bookings essential.

What else is on at Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Two Strong Sisters Connected | Closes 31 January 2021
This art exhibition presents 38 works of celebrated Victorian Elders and artists Aunty Eileen Harrison and Aunty Rochelle Patten, who are exhibiting together for the first time.
Free with museum entry, bookings essential.
Media kit with images.

First Peoples | Open Daily
A shared endeavour of Museums Victoria and the Victorian Aboriginal community, this major exhibition celebrates the history, culture, achievements and survival of Victoria's Aboriginal people, telling the story of Aboriginal Victoria from the time of Creation to today.
Free with museum entry, bookings essential.

Milarri Garden Trail | Open daily
A self-guided trail to learn about the plants, animals and waterways of significance to Aboriginal people of south-eastern Australia.
Free with museum entry, bookings essential.

River of Language Virtual Tour | Online
Experience the online virtual tour ngulu wurneet, galada-al wurrung u, parniwaru tyalingi, waran woorroong-ee, barringgi dyaling | River of Language. Co-curated with VACL, the languages of south-eastern Australia are brought to life through the voices, artwork and animations of the First Peoples of south-eastern Australia.
Tour River of Language online now.

Media enquiries

Talia Schirripa
Media & Communications Officer
Museums Victoria
[email protected] | 0430 599 031

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