Connection at The Lume

Fri 23rd June, 2023 – Sun 31st December, 2023
The Lume, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
5 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf
Price: From $34
The digital gallery’s new exhibition transforms paintings, photography, video works and more by First Nations artists into an immersive experience spanning 3000 square metres and four storeys.

Between Van Gogh and Monet & Friends (which also featured art by Cézanne, Renoir and Manet), digital art gallery The Lume has previously only brought to life works by renowned European painters from the 19th century. But its upcoming exhibition, Connection, will feature work by Australian artists, many of whom are still living. Specifically, First Nations artists.

Step inside recreations of works by Emily Kame Kngwarreye; Tommy Watson; Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Gabriella Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi and Michelle Possum Nungurrayi; Anna Pitjara; Lin Onus; and 100 more artists – each one digitally enhanced to move, swirl and flow all around you. There’ll be traditional art and paintings, alongside portraits, landscapes, nature photography and drone footage, representing a wide breadth of subjects and art forms.

Accompanying the colourful visuals is a score by First Nations musicians such as Yothu Yindi, Archie Roach, Emily Wurramara, Gurrumul, Alice Skye and Baker Boy, and renowned composers like William Barton.

Connection is divided into sections celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customs and traditions relating to the earth or land, water and the sky. The experience is meant to encompass diverse storytelling about facets of Country for First Peoples.

“The technology Connection uses breaks down a lot of barriers to entry,” Kate Constantine – a Gadigal artist of the Eora Nation, whose work features in the exhibition – says in a statement. “A lot of people like Aboriginal art because it is colourful or pretty, but a lot of people are quite challenged by Aboriginal art too, by not knowing or understanding how to interpret it or not feeling like they have permission to be involved.”

A smaller version of the experience premiered at the National Museum of Australia last year, and Lume founder Bruce Peterson claims it was the most visited experience in the museum’s history.

Connection opens at The Lume on June 23. Available tickets stretch until October (no end date has been announced as of yet).