Amina Briggs (Boonwurrung, Ugar, Erub), Eleanor Franks (Gubbi Gubbi, Kabi Kabi), Keemon Williams (Koa, Kuku Yalanji, South Sea Islander, Meriam Mir), Matthew Harris (Koorie), Peter Waples-Crowe (Ngarigo) and Tammy Gilson (Wadawurrung)

In the Wadawurrung language, ‘moombarra’ translates to ‘stick it up your arse’. This seemingly irreverent phrase encapsulates a profound commentary on the complexities of Indigenous identity, and the ongoing struggles against racism and tokenism. Moombarra delves into the depths of Blak humour, confronting issues of cultural appropriation, stereotyping and the pervasive impact of colonialism on Indigenous communities.

The exhibition brings together six Indigenous artists who disrupt colonial narratives and celebrate culture in all its complexity. It challenges misplaced nostalgia, exposing the insidious nature of commodification and over-production in the realm of Indigenous art. Questions of authenticity, ownership and truth-telling permeate as the artists critically engage with manifestations of culture in a post-colonial world, grappling with notions of national identity.

Moombarra is a call to action. It embodies the loss of hope currently felt by many, while simultaneously igniting a spark of resilience and determination. Through cultural reclamation, it carves out space for Indigenous voices to be heard, respected and celebrated on their own terms.

Acknowledgement and respect is given to the late artist and activist, Destiny Deacon (KuKu, Erub/Mer) who first coined the term ‘Blak’.

Kait James is a proud Wadawurrung artist whose work challenges Indigenous culture stereotypes. She has been practicing as a professional artist since 2018 and predominantly works with textiles. Her work combines fabric collage, embroidery, rug tufting techniques, alongside ‘Aboriginalia’, which generalises and stereotypes Indigenous culture. Through her potent and politically charged works, she endeavours to navigate injustices with optimism and humour, ultimately speaking of hope, resilience, and self-determination.

Kait James is the curator of the 2024 First Peoples-led exhibition. The First Peoples-led exhibition series is an initiative established by Craft in 2020 to support the development of contemporary First Nations curatorial practice within craft and design. The annual program engages a curator, collective and/or practicing artist of Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander descent to develop and curate an exhibition within Craft's main gallery. The invited curator is chosen through consultation with an advisory panel of First Nations artists and/or industry professionals to ensure the program is First Nations-led and is representative of cultural practices and protocols. The exhibition coincides with NAIDOC Week.

The 2024 advisory panel comprised of Gulumerridjin (Larrakia), Wardaman and KarraJarri Saltwater woman and artist Jenna Lee, and Pitta Pitta woman and artist Jahkarli Felicitas Romanis.


Apply for the 2025 First Peoples-led Exhibition

Craft is now seeking expressions of interest to curate the 2025 First Peoples-led exhibition.