Image – Blak Design Matters exhibitor Maree Clarke by Ben Swinnerton.

Blak Design Really Matters

A new exhibition in Federation Square that seeks to challenge preconceived ideas of indigenous design.

Ashley Simonetto
13th of July 2018

At the 2017 Invasion Day rallies in Melbourne, then 16-year-old activist Aretha Brown addressed the 50,000-strong gathering of protesters, famously saying, ‘Too long have Aboriginal people been talked about, rather than talked to.’ A new exhibition, Blak Design Matters, is the first national survey of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island design, giving the lineup of designers the opportunity to have their voices heard on their own terms.

Hosted by Koorie Heritage Trust, Blak Design Matters is curated by Jefa Greenaway, a Wailwan and Kamilaroi man, and award-winning architect who also works in the interior design and education spaces. The exhibition aims to challenge preconceived ideas of Indigenous design, showcasing works from an impressive lineup of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders creatives.

‘Think of the potential to appropriately and sensitively reference the depth of history that this country too often conceals’, Jefa asks us to comtemplate, ‘Indigenous led design and designers have the tools to give voice to many compelling narratives that our rich culture holds’.

Covering a broad range of industries from interior and product design to landscape, architecture and town planning, the groundbreaking show is designed in collaboration with Sibling Architecture and the Koorie Heritage Trust. ‘The Koorie Heritage Trust provides opportunities for all people to learn, connect and reconnect with the rich living cultural heritage of Aboriginal Victoria originating from a 60,000-year-old history’, says Koorie Heritage Trust CEO Tom Mosby.

The Design Files acknowledges that we work on the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging.

Blak Design Matters
Curated by Jefa Greenaway

July 21 -September 30
Koorie Heritage Trust
Federation Square
Melbourne, Victoria

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