Vicki Couzens

A member of the Keerray Wooroong language group of the Gunditjmara of western Victoria, Vicki was born in 1960 in Warrnambool, living on Country until the family relocated to Geelong in 1973. She lived and worked in Geelong, Melbourne and East Gippsland before returning to Warrnambool in 1999. In 2009 Vicki moved back to Melbourne for seven years and now lives in the Stony Rises, part of her home Country, in Victoria’s western districts.

Vicki has distinguished herself with her interdisciplinary artwork, or as she prefers, ‘creative cultural expression’ - painting, installation, visual arts, printmaking, mixed media, performing arts, language, ceremony and teaching - but is best known for her central role in the revival of the possum skin cloak making tradition which began in Victoria and is now established across south-eastern Australia.

In 1999, Vicki attended a printmaking workshop with Lee Darroch and other Aboriginal artists from across Victoria, hosted by the Melbourne Museum. They were shown various cultural objects from the Museum’s collection as inspiration for creating copper plate etchings. Staff showed the group the historic nineteenth-century Lake Condah possum skin cloak and it was during this encounter that Vicki underwent a profound and transformative experience.

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