ACU Melbourne Gallery was excited to host the Takayna/Tarkine: Nature, Identity, Community, Spirit exhibition last month.
The exhibition was officially opened by Bob Brown, former Australian Greens leader, on Thursday 13 July.
The exhibition was a collection of over 100 artworks that sought to highlight the beauty of the remote Tasmanian Tarkine landscape and to encourage viewers to contemplate, reflect and take action to ensure its protection.
Artworks displayed in the exhibition were created during an artist retreat that was organized by the Bob Brown Foundation in the Tarkine over the Easter weekend. The Foundation hopes to secure protection of 450, 000 hectares of the Tarkine as a National Park and World Heritage Area and have it returned to Aboriginal ownership. It contains large tracts of intact forests including the largest temperate rainforest in Australia and is home to threatened and endangered species that are globally significant.
During his opening speech Bob Brown noted “Takayna is a fabulous part of our Tasmanian, Australian and global heritage at a time when this planet is under awesome destructive processes. We need this as a bulwark of cultural and environmental heritage, singing to the souls of human beings long after we are gone”.
Theresa Sainty, pakana elder (Tasmanian Aboriginal community member) and Aboriginal Linguistic Consultant also represented the long lineage of Tasmanian Aboriginals at the opening and has worked on reviving the traditional lutruwita (now known as Tasmania) language. Members of women from the Tasmanian Aboriginal community singing group muka nawnta (Saltwater Sisters) sang at the opening in this revived palawa kani language.
The exhibition ran from 10 – 24 July. For more information on Takayna visit takayna.org.