National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Road
7PM 'til 7AM
Award-winning young Indigenous artist Josh Muir paints an illuminating picture of Aboriginal people in Victoria on the expansive façade of the state’s National Gallery.
Music and soundscape by Emma Donovan and James Henry
‘I am a proud Yorta Yorta/ Gunditjmara man, born and living in Ballarat, Victoria. I hold my culture strong to my heart – it gives me a voice and a great sense of my identity. When I look around, I see empires built on aboriginal land. I cannot physically change or shift this, though I can make the most of my culture in a contemporary setting and use my art projects to address current issues of reconciliation.
Still Here tells the story of Aboriginal people in Victoria before and since white settlement. The appearance of white men on our land meant that our life would never be the same again. Life has changed, we have struggled, been treated badly. But we are still here – and growing stronger with each generation.
This is our story, a story of unity and survival.’
Still Here tells the story of pre settlement on country progressing through to the arrival of European settlers – a very confusing moment in history in skin variation, where the lack of cultural understanding led to mistreatment.
With his imagery, artist Josh Muir encourages forgiveness and pays respect to and acknowledges the past.
At the end of the journey, Aboriginal people remain.
They are ‘still here’, striving to work together and progress in the spirit of reconciliation.
Josh Muir took to contemporary street art as a kid, inspired by the colour contrasts and it’s place in the public arena for everyone to enjoy. His path has not been easy with teenage drug use, overdoses and depression but Josh found his way back through support of his family, friends and most importantly by making art. Being Aboriginal has given him a strong connection to his culture and creativity has always run through his veins. Recent projects include being the winner of Youth Award & Peoples Choice at the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards and the upcoming major projects commission for Lorne Sculpture Biennale March 2016. Josh is represented by Mars Gallery.