NGV Australia's Ian Potter Centre at Federation Square will this month play host to an exhibition space titled Wurrdha Marra, showcasing new works from the NGV’s First Nations art and design collection.

Derived from the phrase ‘Many Mobs’ in the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung language, the exhibition will feature works from the likes of Tony Albert, Treahna Hamm, Kent Morris, Marlene Gilson, Rover Thomas, Christian Thompson, Gary Lee, Nicole Monks, Gali Yalkarriwuy, Dhambit Mununggurr, Nonggirrnga Marawili and more.

The space seeks to celebrate the diversity of First Nations art and design. NGV Director, Tony Ellwood AM, says the exhibition space will further the gallery’s cultural reputation.

“First Nations artists and designers continue to shape and transform art across Australia and around the world,” he says.

“Through this gallery space dedicated to First Nations art and design from Australia, we hope to celebrate the indelible impact of these extraordinary practitioners, as well as cement the NGV’s reputation as a major destination for Australian arts and culture.”

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An impressive display includes meticulously crafted an-gujechiya (fish traps) made by Burrara women from Maningrida using mirlarl vine sourced from the bush. Passed through the generations, the weaving techniques intersect self-expression and cultural preservation. In another corner, contemporary resin boomerangs by Keemon Williams, a First Nations queer artist, combine art and commentary on identity, highlighting the intersectional experiences of queer and First Nations individuals.

Tony Albert's work, "History Repeats, 2023," unveils a critical exploration of appropriation and depictions of Indigenous peoples in mass-produced objects. Through found materials, Albert reframes Indigenous histories within the context of contemporary art. 

Tiwi artist Michelle Pulutuwayu Woody Minnipinni's monumental painting, "Ngiya Murrakupupuni (My Country), 2023," intricately crafted using a Tiwi comb and ochres, celebrates her deep connection to her Tiwi heritage and home Country. 

Gwenneth Blitner's vibrant painting, "Mijal, 2021-22," captures childhood memories and the cultural significance of the Roper River, beautifully depicted through bold colours and intricate detailing.

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Guruwuy Murrinyina's elegant bark painting, "Dhatam, 2023," delves into spiritual symbolism, portraying the Rainbow Serpent and its significance to the Gälpu people. Amrita Hepi's moving image work, "Scripture for a smoke screen: Episode 1 – dolphin house, 2022," challenges conventional notions of intelligence and communication by exploring an experiment involving dolphin-human communication. 

“Across countless generations, First Nations people have used art as a way to pass on important cultural knowledge,” says Myles Russell-Cook, Senior Curator, Australian and First Nations Art.

“Wurrdha Marra highlights watershed moments in Australian art history, looking at artists who have all, in their own way, been at the forefront in creating new forms of expression. These are important artists whose work both challenges, maintains and regenerates customary cultural practices and design.”

Above Wurrdha Marra on the second and third levels, a complete rehang of the gallery’s permanent collection has taken place, offering a journey through pivotal moments in Australian art history, from 65,000 years of First Peoples practices through to the present day.

Wurrdha Marra is on display now at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Fed Square, Melbourne. Entry is free. For further info, visit