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John Wolseley & Mulkin Wirrpanda: Molluscs / Maypal and the Warming of the Seas

March 30, 2019 - June 2, 2019


John Wolseley’s 2016 gift to Geelong Gallery of his ten metre long, six panel panoramic watercolour The pearl fisher’s voyage from Ise Shima to Roebuck Bay, 1985-89, is the catalyst for an immersive installation in which Wolseley and senior Yolgnu artist and clan leader Mulkun Wirrpanda, extend their decade-long collaboration. Both artists share a profound sense of the beauty and fragility of the earth and its ecosystems, and in this project their works meditate especially on the mollusc as a powerful indicator of changing oceanic conditions and water systems.

Wolseley’s work will include unique woodblock prints taken from swamp mangroves that bear the bored channels of ‘shipworms’, a widespread species of mollusc feared by 17th and 18th century naval explorers, including James Cook, for its capacity to consume a ship’s timber, rendering it dangerously unseaworthy. Mulkun Wirrpanda’s lyrical bark paintings and larrikitj maintain knowledge about traditional foods sourced on land and in the waters, including shipworms.

Artists: Mulkun Wirrpanda, John Wolseley

Curator: Jason Smith


March 30, 2019
June 2, 2019
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Geelong Gallery
55 Little Malop St
Geelong, VIC
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