GOLD – Gapu-Monuk – Journey to Sea Country by the Australian National Maritime Museum, Australia

Case Study

BRIEF:

Display the Saltwater Bark collection to tell the story and spirit of Yolnu society. Create a striking exhibition to educate non-Yolnu people of the legal and social systems, providing a retrospective survey of artistic and cultural narratives in the collection. Demonstrate 60,000 years of connection between the Saltwater areas and Yolnu people.

 

 

STRATEGY:

Indigenous articulation informed every aspect of Gapu-Monuk’s development. Following Indigenous practices and beliefs led to a fresh and unique perspective on design, circulation paths and Indigenous language being the lead language in the exhibition.

 

CHALLENGES:

• Unlocking the significance, knowledges and stories in the Saltwa- ter Bark collection for diverse national and international audiences. • Keeping true to cultural interpretation, staying true to the integrity of the works and their cultural memory.

 

 

TOOLS:

Contemporary Indigenous art from the region was combined with interactives, maps, Yolnu language and video footage offering visitors additional interpretive insight into beliefs, languages and traditions.

 

 

OUTCOME:

160,000 visitors during the first eight months with over 1000 visitors attending curator-led tours. Media coverage reached more than 2 million. “Probably the finest exhibition of Aboriginal art on in Sydney” – Jeremy Eccles, The Aboriginal Art Review