ACMI presents

Writing & Concepts lecture

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About the talk

Wemba-Wemba and Gunditjmara artist, curator and writer Paola Balla will present her lecture 'Writing Blak to the Future: situating the ways Aboriginal matriarchs protect and resist with art and story'.

Both writing and art making are sacred practices for Paola: “Like any relationship, it can be tense with anxiety, fear, worry, mistrust and communication issues. But, when it’s good, it’s really good and the love, trust, words and images flow”.

In this lecture, she draws on the works of Destiny Deacon, Aileen Moreton-Robinson and bell hooks to explore how writing blak and making blak art are acts of disruption that function as ways of talking backand talking up. This draws on generations of resistance, and speaks into the future, whispering survival secrets that inform her work.

About the speaker

Paola Bella is a Wemba-Wemba and Gunditjmara woman who is an artist, curator, writer and lecturer based at Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Centre, Victoria University.

A PhD researcher on Aboriginal women’s art and practices of resistance, matriarchy, healing and protection/activism, she is the inaugural Lisa Bellear Indigenous Research Scholarship holder.

Paola established the Indigenous Arts and Cultural Program at FCAC and the Wominjeka Festival in 2010.

Her work has appeared in Etchings Indigenous, The Lifted Brow, Peril Magazine, and the Victorian Writer. She is a regular guest speaker, including at the Emerging Writers Festival and a keynote for Women of the World Festival, 2017.

In 2015 Paola curated Executed in Franklin Street at City Gallery for the City of Melbourne, a group exhibition about the Tasmanian Aboriginal freedom fighters Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner who were the first publicly executed people in Melbourne in 1842. Executed was Highly Commended in the MAGNA Awards for Indigenous Projects 2016.

Most recently Paola co-curated the acclaimed exhibition, Sovereignty at ACCA with Max Delany. Sovereignty was a major exhibition of over thirty First Nation artists focused upon contemporary art of First Nations peoples of South East Australia, alongside keynote historical works, which presented culturally and linguistically diverse narratives of self-determination, identity, sovereignty and resistance.

About Writing & Concepts

Writing & Concepts is produced by Jan van Schaik, published by ART + AUSTRALIA, and proudly supported by the RMIT Design HubRMIT Architecture & Urban Design, the RMIT School of ArtSpring 1883, and MvS Architects.