2018 Art Symposium

The free one-day symposium Aboriginal Art and Knowledge Engagement will examine the central role Australian Aboriginal artistic practice plays in the exchange of ideas, especially in teaching and cultural learning.  Keynote presenter Dr Henry Skerritt from the University of Virginia will be joined by colleagues from the University of Melbourne, Aboriginal art communities, conservators and the commercial gallery sector, to explore this fascinating subject.

The Aboriginal Art and Knowledge Engagement symposium will be held in the Gateway Building, Trinity College, at the University of Melbourne, on Sunday, 25 November, between 10.30am-4.30pm.

Keynote Speaker

Henry SkerrittDr Henry Skerritt is the Mellon Curator of the Indigenous Arts of Australia at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia.

He has written extensively on Australian art, including contributions to catalogue publications for the National Museum of Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Harvard Art Museums, and the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College.

He is the editor of the books No Boundaries: Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Abstract Painting (2015); Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia (2016)and The Inside World: Contemporary Memorial Poles from Aboriginal Australia (2019)and served as the consulting curator on the touring exhibitions of the same names. Skerritt holds a Ph.D in art history from the University of Pittsburgh and a Masters in Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Skerritt is currently working in the planning stages of the exhibition Madayin, showcasing more than seven decades of Yolngu bark painting produced by artists from Yirrkala, Arnhem Land.

Other speakers:

  • Professor Robyn Sloggett AM, Cripps Foundations Chair of Cultural Materials Conservation and Director of the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation; with visiting artists from the Warmun Community, Western Australia.
  • Artists from Warmun community, Western Australia.
  • Angus and Rose Cameron, directors of Nomad Art Productions and Gallery, Darwin.
  • Dr Susan Lowish, Senior Lecturer in Australian Art History in the School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne.
  • Wukun Wanambi, renowed Yolngu artist from Yirrkala and a member of the Marrakulu clan.
  • Kade McDonald, former Arts Coordinator at Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre in Yirrkala, Arnhem Land, and current manager of Durrmu Arts, Peppimenarti, an isolated community 80 kms south-west of Daly River, Northern Territory.


Where: Trinity College, The University of Melbourne, Royal Parade, Parkville, 3052

Date: Sunday, 25 November 2018

Cost: There is no cost to attend but attendees are required to register

* Attendees to the symposium will have the opportunity to view the collaborative exhibition Barring-bul, currently showing in the Burke Gallery, Trinity College, in partnership with the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School.  Find out more here!

Registrations Now Open