Women’s Contributions Celebrated In Enduring Public Art

28 November 2023

This year’s final artwork in the Allan Labor Government’s program focused on increasing women’s representation in enduring public art has been unveiled in Mildura.

First Nations artist Maree Clarke has created Yennaga Yettang/Come See the sixth piece of public art to be revealed as part of the Labor Government’s $1 million Victorian Women’s Public Art Program launched in 2022.

The film and sound artwork pays tribute to First Nation women’s connection to country, celebrating their roles as knowledge holders of customs and traditions.

The artwork was created by local women artists and musicians and will be projected as part of a permanent display at the Powerhouse building in Mildura’s redeveloped Riverfront Precinct.

Created by Maree Clarke – an internationally renowned multi-disciplinary artist and Mutti Mutti, Yorta Yorta, Wamba Wamba, Boonwurrung woman – the film journeys through spectacular Latje Latje and Ngintait Country.

Musicians Catherine Threlfall and Merilyn Air worked with a choir of local girls and young women aged 10 to 18 years old to compose the soundscape for the film. The final layer of the artwork includes the addition of ‘whispers’ from older women.

The Mildura artwork follows statues unveiled statewide across 2023 of the late Stella Young in Stawell, Zelda D’Aprano at Victorian Trades Hall and Dr Vera Scantlebury Brown in Linton, as well as artworks ‘Three Kurnai Women on Country’ in Drouin and ‘Creative Resilience’ at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre in Melbourne.

The program has elevated female artists while ensuring recognition and representation for women who have made huge contributions to Victoria through their achievements.

Of the 583 statues across Melbourne, only 12 depict real-life women.

Quote attributable to Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins

“Yennaga Yettang/Come See not only pays tribute to First Nation women’s connection to Country and involved a creative ensemble of many women artists and community members but has the accolade of being the sixth and final project for 2023 in the Victorian Women’s Public Art Program.”

Quote attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for First Peoples Christine Couzens

“I congratulate all the artists and community members involved in the making of this truly collaborative, beautiful artwork that pays stunning tribute to First Nations women’s connection to Country.”

Reviewed 28 November 2023

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