“This exhibition is both an ode to sisterhood, those who have come before and a message for the future female,” says Kimberley Moulton.
The Yorta Yorta woman and co-curator of ACE Open’s new exhibition – with ACE Open CEO Liz Nowell – has brought together seven powerhouse Indigenous female artists from around Australia.
Running as part of Tarnanthi, Next Matriarch is a celebration of solidarity and resilience and breaking down traditional notions of womanhood. In a male-dominated industry, the voices of female artists are often stifled, if not completely overlooked. With this in mind, Moulton has selected “Aboriginal artists that are both paying homage to their ancestral histories and looking towards the future of matriarchy, of female identifying roles in our communities and within the contemporary arts,” she says.
Ideas of sisterhood, strength, activism and the re-definition of what it is to be female will be told through the works of Hannah Brontë, Amrita Hepi, Kaylene Whiskey, Ali Gumillya Baker, Paola Balla, Miriam Charlie and Nicole Monks.
The diverse exhibition will feature a range of mediums, from Brontë’s fierce and colourful rap video to Whiskey’s playful paintings re-imagining super heroes and icons in remote communities, to Hepi's installation using the body as a vehicle for the exploration of cultural authenticity.
“The works in Next Matriarch speak to the Sovereign authority that female First Peoples have in community, healing and in activism,” says Moulton. “The artists share lived experiences grounded in their culture and community but also look forward and construct future imaginings of the Blak Matriarchal space.”
The show is an extension of a recent exhibition curated by Moulton at City of Melbourne Gallery. Next Matriarch takes things a step further with more overt political statements and a bigger emphasis on activism.
Following the opening this weekend is the first Adelaide edition of nationwide hip-hop dance party FEMPRE$$, curated by exhibiting artist Brontë. The event places women on the mic, the deck and the dancefloor in “an explosion of deadly, powerful women,” says Moulton. It has already booked out but you can join the waiting list here.
Next Matriarch is at ACE Open from Saturday October 14 to Saturday December 9. There will also be a free panel discussion featuring Moulton and selected artists on Sunday October 15 at 2pm.