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Rivermouth installation views featuring works by Gail Mabo and Jessie French

Rivermouth: Exhibition Walkthrough and Discussion

Saturday 11 March 2023, 3–5pm
Free event
Register here

Join MUMA’s new Senior Curator, Pip Wallis, for an informal exhibition walkthrough of Rivermouth and discussion with participating artists Jessie French and Gail Mabo.

Developed by guest curator José Roca, Artistic Director of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, in collaboration with MUMA’s Charlotte Day and Francis E. Parker, Rivermouth builds upon the recent Biennale’s themes and concerns in a new exhibition that recognises the importance of caring for Country, waterways and their bird companions, and First Nations systems of celestial mapping. Rivermouth also includes creative collaborations with more-than-human beings and elements, and considers the potential in earthly cycles of growth, decay and regeneration.

Light refreshments served.

Jessie French explores speculative futures through algae-based bioplastic and water-based ecologies. Housed within an ethos of consumption, sustainability and regeneration, her practice invites others to engage with the possibilities of a post-petrochemical world. Through experimenting with other materials, she explores the potential of closed-loop systems of (re)use and conscious consumption and interaction with objects. She founded experimental design studio, OTHER MATTER, in 2020 to engage people in the possibilities of working with algae-based materials, employing skills and knowledge developed through her artistic practice.

Gail Mabo is a Meriam artist from Mer Island in Zenadth Kes/the Torres Strait whose star maps, created from bamboo, cotton and other materials, are grounded in First Nations cultural knowledge and demonstrate Meriam understandings of celestial navigation. Several of her works depict Tagai, a Creator Being and constellation that travellers in the Torres Strait consult to guide them safely through the seas. Tagai takes the form of a man standing on a canoe whose left hand is formed by the stars of the Southern Cross and holds a spear. In 2015, one of the stars in the Southern Cross was named Koiki after Gail Mabo’s father, Eddie Koiki Mabo, to mark the 23rd anniversary of the historic Mabo decision that overturned the doctrine of terra nullius (meaning ‘nobody’s land’).

Images: Jessie French, Old Gold and Sunk 2023, Gail Mabo, Zenadth Kes 2022. Installation views, Rivermouth, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, 2023. Photos: Christian Capurro