Innovative museum program encourages artists to unsettle traditions

10 February 2017

A new artists-in-residence program at Queensland Museum will see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people draw on the State Collection to inspire works of film, street and visual art, music and theatre.

Queensland Museum Network CEO and Director Professor Suzanne Miller said unsettle was about creating places to have challenging conversations about our past, present and future.

“We want Queensland Museum to be a place where all members of our community can understand their history, issues, achievements and identity,” Professor Miller said.

“The exciting new initiative will encourage Indigenous young people to evaluate the connection they feel towards the museum and our State Collection, which contains more than 1.2 million objects and specimens.

“Supported by renowned Queensland-based Indigenous artists, the youth artists will delve into the collection and create a rich series of films, visual arts, music and theatre works that unsettle the way museums see themselves, and are used and viewed by others.”

Through these activities, unsettle will promote the sharing of Indigenous perspectives on the history, culture and identity of Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders.

Professor Miller said the program will also encourage conversations that acknowledge past injustices, and highlight important contemporary issues for the young people of today.

“More importantly, it will give our next generation a chance to forge a stronger relationship with their museum in an active and meaningful way,” she said.

Running from February 2017 to April 2018, unsettle is a Digi Youth Arts Creative Initiative supported by Queensland Museum and funded by the Australian Government through the Indigenous Languages and Arts program, aimed at helping artists and organisations to shape our cultural landscape, increase cultural diversity, and inspire, educate and entertain audiences.

Board Member of Digi Youth Arts Bianca Beetson said unsettle creates a space for participants to create a positive disruption to dominant world views.

“Our partnership with Queensland Museum provides an opportunity for established artists to mentor young artists as they question, challenge and expose the nature of cultural collections in galleries and museums,” Ms Beetson said.


Heidi Jones, (07) 3842 9388

Christine Robertson, 0417 741 710