Awaken is an exhibition exploring 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.
A Faculty of Arts and Chancellery initiative, Awaken was developed in consultation with communities, using local knowledge alongside Donald Thomson's fieldwork notes to activate the object stories and their deep connection with each community. The University partnered with experiential design consultancy Art Processors to pilot a series of digital experiences to ‘unlock’ the objects on display from their cases and 're-place' them into the contexts from which they came. The Digital Studio assisted in the development of this pilot.
Awaken aims to foster a greater understanding of the cultures, knowledge and values of several Australian Indigenous communities and language groups and reaffirms the University's commitment to Reconciliation with its focus on a holistic, inclusive and two-way relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.