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Sculpture Honours Creativity Of First Nations Women

06 May 2023

A striking 4.6 metre sculpture paying tribute to First Nations women’s creativity and ingenuity has been officially unveiled outside the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre in Lonsdale Street.

Launching the artwork, Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins cut a floral wreath encircling the sculpture which depicts a forearm holding up a woven basket. The unveiling ceremony included artists from Ngardang Girri Kalat Mimini - a collective of First Nations women and non-binary artists from across Victoria.

Weaving is a significant cultural practice for First Nations women, and the artwork symbolises the strength and creativity of Aboriginal women in south-eastern Australia who have supported and nurtured families and communities over tens of thousands of years.

The basket was made of Victorian grasses with a few rows woven by each artist. It began as a basket about 10 centimetres high and was transformed into the much larger copper coated version.

The six artists are Annie Brigdale, Lorraine Brigdale, Janet Bromley, Trina Dalton-Oogjes, Georgia Macguire and Glenda Nicholls.

The Ngardang Girri Kalat Mimini artists drew on their networks throughout Victoria in the creation of this work and engaged with a cultural reference group led by Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Di.

Creative Resilience is the third of six public artworks being unveiled throughout the state to showcase Victorian women’s achievements as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $1 million Victorian Women’s Public Art Program.

Of the 581 statues across Melbourne, only 10 depict real women. The program aims to address the underrepresentation of women and their achievements with statues, sculptures and other enduring public art.

Quotes attributable toMinister for Women Natalie Hutchins

“This striking, unforgettable artwork is a fitting testament to the strength and creativity of First Nations women, past and present, and a celebration of First Nations artists.

“Creative Resilience calls on us to consider a constant and unbroken thread that stretches back through millennia to honour First Nations women as not only keepers of wisdom and knowledge but as artists and creators.”

“I’m proud to launch this beautiful sculpture as part of the Victorian Women’s Public Art Program which is increasing the number of permanent public artworks celebrating women across the state.”

Reviewed 06 May 2023

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