WURRUNG: Tongue of Land

This exhibition was dedicated to the Boonwurrung people, who are the traditional owners of the land that the Alliance Française Eildon Gallery is situated on. The Boonwurrung are the traditional people and custodians of the lands spanning between the Werribee River, Port Phillip Bay, Philip Island and Wilson Promontory. The Boonwurrung are one of five nations that constitute the Eastern Kulin Nation, which encompasses the Greater Melbourne area and surroundings.

Wurrung; Tongue of Land, is an exhibition drawing upon themes surrounding language and connection to place.

Language, as a tool for both speech and literature, is crucial for the expression of culture, history, traditions, and beliefs. It is not just spoken or written words but an unspoken dialogue found deeply embedded in the roots of country, holding deep spiritual significance to it. It is an exchange of knowledge between the land, the cosmos and everything that resides within. Our languages are part of our unique identity, coming directly from the land and the time they exist in, and are forever in a continuous state of adaptation and flux.

In response to the 2019 United Nations’ International Year of Indigenous Languages, Wurrung: Tongue of Land is a group exhibition featuring a diverse range of artwork created by Indigenous artists drawn from the University of Melbourne, affiliates, and friends. Emerging and professional artists come together to explore, observe, and provide commentary on topics related to language; revival, restoration, reclamation, and reconciliation. This exhibition is curated with the intention of drawing attention to the importance of Indigenous languages and the critical loss of these languages in Australia and globally.