The Torch presents Dhumbadha Munga
Address: 1214 High Street, Armadale
Date: 10 – 26 October 2019
Time: Tuesday – Friday 9:30am – 5:30pm , Saturday 10:30am – 5:00pm
Dhumbadha Munga explores the transformative power of art and cultural exchange between the former inmates and Arts Officers from The Torch, a not-for-profit organisation delivering the Indigenous Arts in Prison and Community program across Victoria.
As it has done for generations, Indigenous culture continues to evolve through talking and sharing knowledge and the 26 artworks from 17 artists demonstrates the interconnectedness of Torch staff and artists exploring a two-way dialogue of artistic and cultural exchange.
For the first time Dhumbadha Munga will be hosted by Metro Gallery, whose commitment is to exhibit contemporary work from promising emerging artists. Their presentation of Dhumbadha Munga will enable The Torch artists to have their work exposed to the broader art world and gallery system.
All artists are enjoying a level of recognition including Ralph Rogers who had his first solo show at Deakin University earlier this year; Mutti Mutti man Jeffrey Jackson’s artwork has been circumnavigating Melbourne on the side of a Yarra Tram; Chris Austin (Gunditjmara Keerraaywoorrong), was recently featured in the documentary The Art of Incarceration that won the Best Australian Documentary at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival and Kent Morris, Bardkindji man and The Torch CEO, has been shortlisted for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. Both Kent Morris and Sean Miller have artwork collected by the National Gallery of Victoria.
Other artists exhibiting are Graham Gilbert (Wiradjuri), Renee Gray (Yorta Yorta), Blackgin (Wurundjeri), Marbukk, Paul McCann (Marrithiyel), Sean Miller (Kamilaroi), Veronica Mungaloon Hudson (Pitjantjatjara), Gary Reid (Pitjantjatjara/Yankuntjatjara), Ralph Rogers (Baranbinja), Garry Scott, Ash Thomas (Yorta Yorta/Wiradjuri) and Robby Wirramanda (Wergaia/Wotjobaluk).
Yorta Yorta man Kelvin Rogers, who is currently working on a mural at Melbourne Assessment Prison, said “The Torch … gives me opportunities to work, like the mural at MAP. That’s a good feeling: coming in the front door rather than coming in those [prison] roller doors.”
Co-inciding with Dhumbadha Munga both Kent and Blackgin have solo exhibitions. Kent’s UnVanished photography exhibition is on display at the Horsham Regional Art Gallery (24th August – 10th November) and Blackgin’s Marnda Grik exhibition (5th October - 24th November) explores stories of spiders and women through paperbark, hosted by the Koorie Heritage Trust.
Georgia MacGuire, a Wurundjeri woman has recently been employed as The Torch’s first Women’s Arts Officer. Georgia is an established artist and practices under the pseudonym Blackgin.