The Melbourne Art Trams Program returns in 2021 with all designs by First Peoples artists.
Melbourne is a city built on the lands of the Kulin Nation peoples; Traditional Owners who continue to maintain deep connections to their country, kin and waterways that have existed for tens of thousands of years.
Along with Victorian Traditional Owners, the place now known as Melbourne is home to many First Peoples from across the country.
The city transforms every day, but beneath the concrete foundations ancient waterways continue to flow. The old gums, scarred with the lines of canoes, stand tall alongside towering skyscrapers, and fresh and salt water continue to meet in estuaries with the moon’s tidal pull.
While the city is changing, country and First Peoples culture is all around us. From the earth to the sky and the stories in the stars, to the built environment, tramways and laneways.
Curated by Kimberley Moulton (Yorta Yorta), the 2021 First Peoples Art Trams artists are:
- Deanne Gilson—Wadawurrung
- Thomas Marks—Wotjobaluk/Gunaikurnai
- Aunty Rochelle Patten—Dhudhuroa/Wemba Wemba/Yorta Yorta
- Jarra Karalinar Steel—Boonwurrung/Wemba Wemba
- Ray Thomas—Brabrawooloong Gunnai
- Aunty Zeta Thomson—Wurundjeri/Yorta Yorta
The top six selected artworks speak to diverse themes of environmental ecologies and caring for Country, to personal stories of journeying and family, and reflect on the history and cultural heritage of First Peoples in the landscape. As a collective of moving artworks all six share with us the strength and beauty of creative cultural expression and the interwoven connections and continuous cultures of First Peoples in Victoria.
We received close to 60 applications for the 2021 Melbourne Art Trams, and thank everyone who took the time and effort to enter.
Victorian Traditional Owners and First Peoples artists were invited to respond to Melbourne and the multiple layers of history, country, diverse community and connections across Victoria. Submissions have now closed.
ART TRAMS CRITERIA
To be selected as a 2021 Melbourne Art Trams artist, applicants were required to be:
- A Victorian Traditional Owner OR
- A First Peoples artist where Victoria is the primary location in which they lived and worked OR
- A First Peoples artist whose practice or body of work over the last five years has primarily taken place in Victoria
The following creative criteria applied:
- Strength of the creative vision
- Originality of response to the creative brief
- Technical feasibility
- How the artwork responds to its context (ie. riding the tramlines each day)
Submissions were assessed by curator and RISING Artistic Associate Kimberley Moulton (Yorta Yorta) and the Melbourne Art Tram Partnership Group comprising representatives of Creative Victoria, Department of Transport, Yarra Trams and RISING. This group is be made up of a majority of First Peoples with additional members to support technical and marketing requirements.