First Nations perspectives: Deanne Gilson—a Wadawurrung woman

Deanne Gilson, a Wadawurrung woman, discusses how Geelong Gallery collection works have informed her art practice. Through her mother Marlene Gilson’s work Black Swamp, 2007, and the Gallery’s Geelong from Mr Hiatt’s, Barrabool Hill, 1851, by William Duke and Eugene von Guérard’s Aborigines met on the road to the diggings, 1854, she explores Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists’ depictions and interpretations of traditional stories, adornments and the cultural practices of her ancestors. Deanne also discusses Thomas J Washbourne’s Barwon River and Queen’s Park, 1870s, and its representation of the impacts of colonisation on the landscape and her people. Deanne shares her own work, Karringalabil Bundjil Murrup, Manna Gum Tree (The Creation Tree of Knowledge), 2020, which is informed by the traditional stories passed down to her by her ancestors in addition to the non-Indigenous works in the Geelong Gallery collection that provide insights to her ancestors’ way of life.

This video resource is supported by Creative Victoria and the Department of Education and Training Strategic Partnership Program. Geelong Gallery also thanks the Koorie Education Support Officers for their advice and guidance.

Victorian Curriculum links

Levels 9 to 10: The Arts and History, Historical Knowledge | The making of the modern world/Australia