Towards a Monument to Batman’s Treaty

Tom Nicholson, ‘Towards a monument to Batman's Treaty’. 3520 bricks donated by citizens in and around Healesville, 101 A0 photocopies pasted directly to museum wall, dimensions variable. Photograph: Christian Capurro

New ways to understand and renew the relationship between Australia’s colonial history and the present.


  • Dr Tom Nicholson


  • Jonathan Jones
  • Aunty Joy Wandin Murphy AO
  • Tony Birch

This multi-layered project is a meditation on the nature of the monument itself, as a tradition closely linked to colonialism, and on the possibilities of new kinds of public art making or monumentality.

TarraWarra Museum of Art website

Commissioned by the TarraWarra Museum of Art, Future Memorials is an ambitious multi-faceted project involving the Sydney-based Wiradjuri-Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones, Melbourne-based non-Aboriginal artist Tom Nicholson and Senior Wurundjeri elder Aunty Joy Wandin Murphy AO. Towards a monument to Batman’s Treaty was one part of the museum-based first component of the project. The work examines the contradictory meanings of the Treaty that Batman claimed he signed with Wurundjeri people. It uses the exact number of bricks required to construct an as yet unrealised public art project; a monument to the treaty in the form of an obelisk-like chimney. It looks to re-articulate a complex, sometimes contradictory history through a re-animation of the form of the monument. The collaborative work that is the project’s second stage, Untitled (Seven monuments), with Jonathan Jones and Aunty Joy Wandin Murphy, will be installed into the landscape around Healesville to mark the original boundaries of Coranderrk.

The exhibition was commissioned by TarraWarra Museum of Art and developed in close consultation with the Coranderrk’s Wandoon Estate Aboriginal Corporation and other important figures in the Wurdundjeri story from the Yarra Valley area.