Art is a constant reminder of our colonial wars

Two hundred log coffins were commissioned for Australia’s bicentenary. Thirty years later, the NGA's Director and the project’s curator discuss the 21st century message of the colonial war massacres.
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Installation view, The Aboriginal Memorial (1987-1988) at The National Gallery of Australia; supplied courtesy the artists

Over the weekend, the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) celebrated the 30th anniversary of The Aboriginal Memorial (1987-1988), the installation of 200 hollow log coffins that graces the entrance to the gallery.  

Conceived by Djon Mundine in collaboration with Ramingining artists of central Arnhem Land, and commissioned by the NGA’s inaugural director James Mollison AO, it has been permanently displayed since 1988.

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina

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