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Mick Harding Awarded Commission to Create Vibrant Animation Artworks

ACMI has awarded Mick Harding, from the Yowong-Illam-Baluk and Nattarak Baluk clans of the Taungurung people, a $20,000 commission to create the ACMI First Nations Welcome Installation in the form of a vibrant animation inspired by the artist’s illustrated artworks. Mick will work in collaboration with his son Mitch Harding to develop the work.

The commission, awarded by a panel including members of the museum’s leadership team, will celebrate Victorias First Nations peoples and pay respect to the Traditional Owners of the land that ACMI is situated on – the Wurundjeri people of the Eastern Kulin Nation – and their connection to the lands, waters and skies.

The installation will sit pride of place in ACMI’s Fed Square foyer acknowledging that Australia’s museum of screen culture is, and always will be, situated on Aboriginal land.

Natalie Hutchins, Acting Minister for Creative Industries, said: "Congratulations to Mick Harding on this artwork commission, creating a magnificent new welcome for all visitors to ACMI to enjoy and treasure. The animation will honour the site’s Traditional Owners and thousands of years of cultural practice and connection to country, while celebrating the contemporary First Nations creativity."

Gavin Somers, ACMI Executive Director of First Nations, Equity & Social Policy, said: "We warmly congratulate Mick Harding on being awarded this $20,000 commission to create our First Nations Welcome Installation. Mick impressed all of us on the panel with his vision for a striking animation, inspired by his illustrated artwork, which combines elements of traditional and contemporary Aboriginal art.

This installation will reinforce ACMI’s reputation for being a welcoming hub for communities to gather – where local and international visitors can experience a strong connection to Country as they engage with screen culture."

The ACMI First Nations Welcome Installation will draw inspiration from an untitled 2023 artwork featuring seven of Mick’s illustrations, that depict plants, wildlife and the elements in the style of the artist’s iconic south-eastern geometric patterns. Aiming to capture a dynamic and energetic spirit, the animation will present motifs such as a flowing river, swirling wind and a flying cockatoo, accompanied by an original soundscape featuring sounds of Country and singing in traditional language.

Mick Harding said: "I like to say ‘art is a rainbow of many things’ and I’m always mindful of my own practice demonstrating an openness to this. It’s fantastic to have ACMI’s support to create a moving image work that honours the Kulin Nations. My hope is that this installation will make everyone feel welcome on Country when they visit the museum."

Mick experimented with the moving image in his Master of Fine Art at Gippsland’s Federation University, where he exhibited as part of La Trobe Regional Gallery’s group show Sounds of Country (2016). Mick works in illustration, woodworking, sculpture, printmaking and giftware, and his work has been commissioned for public and private collections. Through his company Ngarga Warendj Dancing Wombat, Mick creates products that are created by hand and via ethical licensing agreements, to showcase his own art and works inspired by traditional Aboriginal designs.

ACMI is Australia’s national museum of screen culture. The museum reopened in February 2021 after a two-year, $40 million redevelopment – an architectural, programmatic and technological transformation. Navigate the universe of film, TV, videogames and art with ACMI. The museum celebrates the wonder and power of the world’s most democratic artform – fostering the next generation of makers, players and watchers. ACMI’s vibrant calendar of exhibitions, screenings, commissions, festivals, and industry and education programs explore the stories, technologies and artists that create our shared screen culture.

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The ACMI First Nations Welcome Installation will be unveiled in 2024. For more info about the commission program, visit


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