Songlines: the Indigenous Australian exhibition preserving 65,000 years of culture

Songlines - Tracking the Seven Sisters exhibition launch

25.10.21 | Press

Songlines: the Indigenous Australian exhibition preserving 65,000 years of culture

The Guardian, 25 October 2021, Nicholas Wroe

With epic pieces that take in creation myths and spread ancient knowledge, this exhibition has taken Australia by storm and is now in the UK.

‘Of course, you can look at the paintings on the walls and appreciate them for the beautiful objects that they are,” explains Margo Neale, head of the Indigenous knowledges centre at the National Museum of Australia. “But if that’s all you appreciate them for then you will be missing out on so much.”

Neale is talking about Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters, which has just arrived at The Box in Plymouth, its first stop on a world tour after attracting 400,000 visitors in Australia. The exhibition features more than 300 objects – paintings, sculpture, ceramics, installation and film; works made by 100 or more artists mostly over the last decade, though the culture and ideas that inform them stretch back 60,000 years.

The show is named after the paths across Australia that feature in Indigenous creation myths, known as the Dreamtime. Songlines are guides through the land as well as sources of advice on how to live in it. The Seven Sisters songline links the night sky and the land in an epic creation tale in which a shape-shifting demon pursues the sisters over vast distances.


Read the full article here

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