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

Case Study


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.




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.



• 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.




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.




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