Movie: Menagerie: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture acquisition campaign

Launch of the acquisition campaign for the Menagerie: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture collection

© Australian Museum
Alison Page


It's an absolute pleasure as Tharawal woman from La Perouse and an Australian Museum trustee to be asked to officially launch the Menagerie acquisition fundraiser for the Australian Museum. I'm only sorry that I can't be there in person, as I've got my feet up at the moment waiting for the birth of my first baby.

Menagerie is a significant acquisition for the Australian Museum, 52 sculptural works from 33 indigenous artists from every state and territory in Australia. It's a unique look at the natural world through an indigenous cultural lens. And it's that relationship between nature and culture that's absolutely central to what the Australian Museum is all about.

Menagerie is also a stunning example about how indigenous cultures are living and that we're constantly discovering new languages to tell stories about the land and our human connection to it. Every tree, rock, river, animal in Australia has a story about how it was created, and I think that sculpture offers one of the most exciting new languages for these stories to be told. These stories, they're ancient dreaming stories, but they're also new stories, and they use a mix of traditional and contemporary materials in the sculptural works.

Also behind the exhibition there's the story of how all of these objects were created and they almost become more important stories than the objects themselves, and that's why I think the collection as a whole needs to be treasured and protected for the future. These stories about the human connection to land, they're the stories that the world needs to hear now because they contain really important messages in them about sustainability and our unique Australian identity.

I think there's a wisdom in every single piece, there's something in it for all of us to connect with. I think when this baby is old enough to walk through the doors of the Australian Museum, Menagerie is going to be a national treasure, and I think that we'll all be proud to say that we were part of protecting it and collecting it for the future. So I invite you to connect with Menagerie and collect it for all Australians.

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