From an episode of SmartArtsPresented by Richard Watts

Interview

SmartArts: Artist Maree Clarke On Major Retrospective Exhibition Ancestral Memories

Maree Clarke was helping install the first major retrospective exhibition of her work at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) when the most recent lockdown in Melbourne occurred. She says when she was able to go into the space afterwards, she “just burst into tears, it was like thirty years plus of memories.” The Yorta Yorta/Wamba Wamba/Mutti Mutti/Boonwurrung woman joins Richard to discuss her works on display.

The exhibition includes possum skin cloaks which involved an extensive research process as it is a practice that had been lost for 150 years—now “people are using possum skin cloaks back in their communities.” The artist and designer’s work incorporates the “loss of land, language and cultural practices”—but also revives those practices.

photo credit: Eugene Hyland

maree-clarke-Eugene-Hyland
Listen to SmartArts: Artist Maree Clarke On Major Retrospective Exhibition Ancestral Memories16:088 July 2021