WILAM BIIK opens next week at Walker Street Gallery, July 25 – September 8

Wilam Bilik
Wilam Bilik

City of Greater Dandenong’s Walker Street Gallery and Arts Centre will stage a major exhibition WILAM BIIK focused on the Home Country of First Nations artists from South-East Australia, from 25 July to 8 September 2023.

Wilam Biik means “Home Country” in the Woiwurrung language of the Wurundjeri people. WILAM BIIK is curated by Wurundjeri, Dja Dja Wurrung and Ngurai Illum Wurrung woman Stacie Piper, who grew up in Dandenong and says the exhibition is about exploring the true spirit of ourselves, which is found within the spirit of Country.

The exhibition invite visitors to appreciate how First Nations people see, listen and connect to Country, featuring new work from contemporary artists Paola Balla (Wemba Wemba, Gundjitmara), Deanne Gilson (Wadawurrung), Kent Morris (Barkindji), Glenda Nicholls (Ngarrindjeri and Yorta Yorta), Steven Rhall (Taungurung), Nannette Shaw (Tyereelore, Trawoolway, Bunurong), Kim Wandin (Wurundjeri), Lewis Wandin-Bursill (Wurundjeri/Woi-wurrung), Arika Waulu (Gunditjmara, Djapwurrung, Gunnai), and the Djirri Djirri Wurundjeri Women’s Dance Group (Wurundjeri, Dja Dja Wurrung, Ngurai Illum Wurrung).

“Our Wilam Biik is the soil, the land, the water, the air, the sky, and the animals residing within. The only home we know, which we honour for its sacred exchange. A home where custodial rights and responsibilities never left. May this place you call home become a deeper part of you.”

“Experiencing Country through a First Nations lens provides a perspective which can inspire, give insight and knowledge, and affirm and re-establish a fundamental connection with nature. This is critical to the wellbeing of people, nature and the planet.”

“My hope is that each person walks away inspired, in awe of the beauty of Country, and empowered with a personal sense of connection and responsibility,” Ms Piper said.

Director of the TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria Lynn, says “This is an exhibition of an innate and unsevered connection between First Peoples and Home Country. We are thrilled that this exhibition will tour to other communities across Victoria”.

Gallery Curator Esther Gyorki says, “We’re delighted to present WILAM BIIK at Walker Street Gallery. We thank Stacie, the artists and TarraWarra Museum of Art for sharing this important exhibition and we look forward to welcoming audiences to both see the exhibition and to participate in a range of programs to complement the exhibition.”

WILAM BIIK is a TarraWarra Museum of Art exhibition touring with NETS Victoria, curated by Stacie Piper.

TarraWarra Museum of Art, NETS Victoria, the artists and the curator of WILAM BIIK respectfully acknowledge and celebrate the continuing culture and custodianship of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples on whose lands this exhibition is presented and all communities across Australia.

Image credit: Djirri Djirri Wurundjeri Women’s Dance Group (Dancers include Wurundjeri, Dja Dja wurrung, Ngurai Illum Wurrung)
‘Wominjeka’ 2018–20 | Video projection | Filmed by Ryan Tews | 2 minutes 26 seconds | Installation view: WILAM BIIK, TarraWarra Museum of Art, 2021. Courtesy of the artists | Photograph: Andrew Curtis

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