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National Museum of Australia and Van Gogh Alive Producer Grande Experiences Team Up for Connection Exhibition Featuring Indigenous Artwork | Canberra time

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Just days after the opening of Van Gogh Alive, a second multi-sensory art experience is planned in Canberra. The producers of Van Gogh Alive, Grande Experiences and the National Museum of Australia are teaming up for an Indigenous art experience that opens June 8. Connection: The songs of Australia’s First Peoples in a spectacular immersive experience will take visitors on a journey of discovery across Australia, across the sky, land and water country. Using the same technology as the Van Gogh Alive experience, Connection will feature over 300 images from 100 Indigenous artists, which will be paired with sound and aroma. “It has a relevant or appropriate connection to how we traditionally pass on knowledge,” said Margo Ngawa Neale, senior Indigenous curator at the National Museum and guest curator on Connection. “We’re a non-text-based culture, so our way of imparting knowledge was performance-based – visual, auditory, song and dance.” What’s magical about this is that not only is it to a level of great magical experience in the digital realm, but one that approximates the way we impart our knowledge in an animated way. “And it’s a digital experience that’s going to show more of our collection, more often, to more audiences, especially the younger generation who have been a little too frequented in stuffy old museums and galleries.” Several works of art have been taken from the National Museum’s collection to feature as digital projections in the new experience, alongside works from other public, private and corporate collections. Included in the experience are works by First Nations artists Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Albert Namatjira, Tommy Watson, Gabriella Possum, Anna Pitjara and Lin Onus. “It’s not a replacement for objects and things, it’s just a fantastic enhancement and a different experience that engages people in a more multi-sensory way and encourages them to see more, read more,” Ms Neale said. “All you can get from this is a sense of the range and diversity of artists. You don’t know who is who or where they come from right away in the experience, but you come away with this compelling sense of the enormous diversity that there is across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia.” LEARN MORE: Even with a hundred artists included in Connection, the experience is only a sampling of works created by First Nations artists. And while the experience aimed to be as diverse as possible – both in terms of the artists themselves and the range of artwork origins – Ms Neale said it was impossible to include everything in experience. It’s for this reason that she said “watch this space” when it comes to future art experiences showcasing Indigenous art. As for the works that were chosen, they were chosen with the help of the National Museum’s Aboriginal Reference Group, whose vice-president is John-Paul Janke. “This experience is a great example of an exciting conjunction between First Nations culture and communities and contemporary digital storytelling,” he said. “This show allows the museum to share our stories with a wider audience in a new and innovative way.” Connection: Songlines from Australia’s First Peoples in a spectacularly immersive experience opens at the National Museum on June 8 for a limited season. For more information and tickets, go to nma.gov.au/connection. Our reporters work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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