Tom Mosby is Chief Executive Officer of the Koorie Heritage Trust, Melbourne. His family connections are across the Islands: Tom states, my father’s family is from Masig (Yorke Island) which is part of the Kulkalgal nation of the central Torres Strait, and my mother’s family is from Erub (Darnley Island) and Mer (Murray Islands) in the Eastern Torres Strait. But both of my grandparents moved to Iama (Yam Island), which is also in the central Torres Strait. So I consider Iama home, but we have connections everywhere.
For 10 years, the Koorie Art Show has championed the art of First Peoples from South East Australia. The Koorie Heritage Trust (KHT) has uncovered some extraordinary artists and we come together to celebrate this significant milestone. From across the lands of Victoria, more than 100 artists will share their stories and reflect upon culture, Country and connection in a beautiful presentation of works on paper, photography, sculpture, multi-media, fibre art and more. This year, the Koorie Art Show has received 49 first time entrants. First presented in 2013, the Koorie Art Show has featured over 1,000 artworks from over 350 artists with $160,000 in prize money awarded during this time.
Award winning artists Deanne Gilson (Wadawurrung) and Cassie Leatham (Taungurung) have entered the Koorie Art Show each consecutive year over its 10-year history. “This is my favourite exhibition of the year and is the best of Victoria First Nations art in the one place. It is a celebration of all First Nations artists living in Victoria that shows our stories and unique styles. I love seeing all the young ones embracing this and getting stronger, especially my two boys who have also entered the show in the past. It has become an important event for many to see young upcoming artists, not to mention a happy place to connect with family and friends,’’ says Deanne Gilson
‘’The Koorie Art Show is a wonderful platform to not only share your creative practice but to show the continuing cultural practices of our Victorian Aboriginal Culture and Arts. 10 years I have participated in the Koorie Art Show and it has allowed me to share my personal journey and continued creative practice to a wider audience,’’ says Cassie Leatham. In honour of the late Josh Muir (Gunditjmara, Yorta Yorta, Barkindji), KHT is proud to announce the Josh Muir Digital Art Award to celebrate the creative curiosity and digital practice that defined Josh’s career. Josh was a passionate supporter and friend of the KHT, and was an entrant in the Koorie Art Show from the very first show in 2013 and in subsequent years until 2018. Josh was also the recipient of the Creative Victoria Award for Excellence in Any Media for his entry in the 2nd Koorie Art Show in 2014, and the Lendlease Reconciliation Award in the 6th Koorie Art Show in 2018.
The Koorie Art Show is a non-acquisitive award and all entries are eligible for: Creative Victoria Award for Excellence in Any Media, $10,000; Metro Tunnel Creative Program 2D Award, $5,000; City of Melbourne Aboriginal Melbourne Award, $5,000; Lendlease Reconciliation Award, $5,000; Viva Energy Australia 3D Award, $5,000; RMIT University Emerging Artist Award, $5,000; Josh Muir Digital Award, $3,000; KHT’s Encouragement Awards, 2 x $500 and KHT’s People’s Choice Award $1,000. The Koorie Art Show has become an important avenue for community members to create and present their artworks. All works entered are exhibited in a salon hang and are available for sale.
Through a statewide call for entries, the Koorie Art Show is the only exhibition in Victoria dedicated to showcasing the work of Koorie and Victorian based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
KHT is also proud to present the 5th Koorie Art Show for kids and young people aged between 5 and 16 years of age. This year, 26 entries have been received for the newly renamed Koorie Art Show Young Mob. All entries from our young mob are eligible for a number of art pack prizes. This year, the Koorie Art Show and Koorie Art Show Young Mob judging panel are: Aunty Pam Pederson (Yorta Yorta); Liz Liddle (Arrernte) and Uncle Gary Davidson (Taungurung). ‘From humble beginnings in 2013, we have seen the Koorie Art Show grow in importance over its 10-year history. These awards are a powerful reminder of the importance of giving First Peoples a platform to tell their stories, to connect and celebrate all that we have to be proud of,” says Tom Mosby, CEO, KHT.
The award winners will be announced on Saturday 3 December at 1pm. The Koorie Art Show continues KHTs role of incubating, nurturing and promoting Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and artists. The Koorie Art Show is proudly supported by Creative Victoria, City of Melbourne, ANZ Bank, Lendlease, Viva Energy Australia, RMIT University and Fed Square.