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Hamer Hall Will Light Up with First Peoples' Art and Spirit Stories This Month

Hamer Hall will be illuminated with a huge, large-scale projection piece which will tell First Peoples' spirit stories.
By James Shackell
June 09, 2023
By James Shackell
June 09, 2023

Swing by Hamer Hall after dark, during RISING festival and NAIDOC Week, and you're going to see something very special: a huge, large-scale projection artwork from celebrated Indigenous artist and respected Wurrundjeri and Yorta-Yorta Elder Aunty Zeta Thomson.

The new piece is called Spirits Of The Land and is worth a trip into the city this winter. Hamer Hall's iconic façade will be lit up with First Peoples' spirit stories, including Mookies (the Ancestor spirits of Country), Hairy Bekka (a creature that teaches children about safety) and the Min Min lights.

"These are the stories and beliefs of my people," Thomson says. "This work is to pass onto our younger generation and I think it is overdue. It's a way of remembering and keeping the stories from my mum, dad and family, and the culture they taught us alive."

"Mookie means spirit in Yorta Yorta," Thomson adds. "In our culture, the old people would sing and clap our sticks or boomerangs together as they walked through the bush to let them (the Spirits) know that they were coming back to visit them again. It is important to strongly represent Victorian Aboriginal culture for people to know these ancient stories."

You might remember Thomson, and Mookies, from her previous work, Mookies Around the Waterhole, which wrapped several trams in 2021 as part of RISING's Arts Tram series. Spirits Of The Land promises to be on a whole other level, using the entire front of Hamer Hall as a canvas. You can also catch Thomson's work at Flinders Street Station as part of RISING's Shadow Spirits exhibition.

"It is an honour to work with esteemed Elder Aunty Zeta Thomson and to animate her stories. Spirits Of The Land is a work that shares belief systems and stories that are not myths or folklore, but very real to First Peoples across the state." Curator and RISING's Artistic Associate Kimberley Moulton says.

Spirits Of The Land is free and will run from sundown to midnight between June 7 and July 9. You won't be able to miss it.

Top Image: Visit Victoria, Roberto Seba. Images: supplied. 

Published on June 09, 2023 by James Shackell
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