A selection of stunning designs and illustrations from First People’s artists will be on full display across the Melbourne tram network, as part of RISING festival. This year, six trams are rolling out across the city, in a travelling celebration of connection to country, culture and identity. Curated by visual artist Jarra Karalinar Steel (Boonwurrung/Wemba Wemba), the theme this year is ‘Unapologetically Blak’. The first of the Melbourne Art Trams has hit the tracks today, with the remaining five to roll out over the next fortnight. They will stay on the network for 12 months.
Melbourne Art Trams
See the fleet of trams showcase personal expressions of First Peoples experience in this moving exhibition. The artists this year are:
- Lin Onus (Yorta Yorta)
- Louise Moore (Wamba)
- Patricia Mckean (Gundijtmara/Kirrae Wurrong)
- Dr Paola Balla (Wemba-Wemba/Gundijtmara)
- Tegan Murdock (Burapa)
- Darcy McConnell / Enoki (Yorta Yorta/Dja Dja Wurrung)
“Showcasing First Peoples artists and creatives diverse forms of visual expression that challenge people’s preconceptions of what is Aboriginal Art, is something I’m deeply passionate about, and that’s why curating RISING’s First Peoples Melbourne Art Trams is such an honour,” said Jarra Karalinar Steel, who featured as an artist in Melbourne Art Trams last year. “‘Unapologetically Blak’ to me means celebrating our joy, success, growth, and continued desire to be stronger as a people. Reclaiming space to express ourselves as artists and inspire the next generation, to share their experiences and stories that often go unheard and forgotten. Each of the six artists’ designs this year, in very different ways do just that, and I’m incredibly proud for them to be shared with the city.”
Art comes to life
The first tram reimagines the original 1991 tram artwork from trailblazing artist and activist Lin Onus, who influenced the development of First People’s art in Australia, and passed away in 1996. This work features black and white cockatoos and cultural markings symbolic of country. The team at RISING reinstalled the artwork, under the guidance of Lin’s son, Tiriki Onus.
Meanwhile, the remaining trams feature a vibrant array of works, including tributes to the wisdom of elders, depictions of ancestral skills and traditions, and celebrations of BLAK LOVE and cultural identity.
As you travel for the next 12 months, the tram will feature QR codes, so that you can learn more about the artists and their creative works.
For more information, click here.