Current exhibition

Awaken exhibition installation image of material objects.
Installation view of the 'Awaken' exhibition in the Arts West Gallery. Photo: Christo Crocker, 2019.

Awakening objects and cultures

Awaken explores a collection of objects, animals and plants that emerged out of the relationship between anthropologist Donald Thomson and many Aboriginal people from three main source communities: the Pintupi in the Western Desert, and the diverse cultural regions of Arnhem Land and Cape York.

Awaken is curated by Worimi Nation film-maker, curator, storyteller and Head of First Peoples at the Melbourne Museum, Genevieve Grieves, with Rosemary Wrench and Shonae Hobson (Kaantju).

Plan your visit

Awaken highlights the deep and abiding relationships that exist between communities of origin and objects held in museums. Objects are a rich source of knowledge and understanding, but they truly awaken when connected to their communities.

The University of Melbourne respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land on which the University stands, the elders of the Wurundjeri-wilam people of the Kulin Nation, past, present and future. The University seeks to follow in their traditions of welcoming others to this place and of treating the land and its peoples with respect. The University acknowledges these lands have been part of knowledge passed on to new generations for thousands of years, and it continues that tradition.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors are advised that the Awaken exhibition may contain images and voices of people who have died.