First Nations knowledge isn’t for free - Reciprocal learning in the visual arts

9 December 2021, 12:00:00 am

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Session Convenors

Stella Rosa McDonald, UTS Gallery & Art Collection

Session Moderators

Stella Rosa McDonald, UTS Gallery & Art Collection

Session Speakers

Emily McDaniel, Powerhouse
Hayley Millar Baker, artist

First Nations led learning in the visual arts provides the opportunity to open up new ways of understanding and contribute to truth-telling. But First Nations Learning isn’t for free. Models of reciprocity and empathy provide learning opportunities that are relevant to First Nations perspectives and experiences and can be embodied by institutions and audiences in the visual arts. This practice-based artist and curator roundtable brings to life the conceptualisation, development, and application of the Learning Experience developed for Hayley Millar Baker’s exhibition “There we were all in one place” at UTS Gallery. Aimed at learners and audiences across disciplines, the Learning Experience is modeled on the artist’s own storytelling methodology and follows an empathy-led and reciprocal approach to learning; encouraging participants to reflect on their own experiences, memories, and understandings in relation to the work of First Nations artists. Conference audiences will be led through the practical application of the Learning Experience and hear from artist Hayley Millar Baker (Gunditjmara, AU), independent curator and educator Emily McDaniel (Wiradjuri, AU) and UTS Gallery & Art Collection curator Stella Rosa McDonald about the development of this resource through a First Nations approach to learning.

THIS SESSION IS A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION

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Biographies

Stella Rosa McDonald, UTS Gallery & Art Collection 

Stella Rosa McDonald is Curator and Manager, UTS Gallery & Art Collection. In this role she is responsible for the programming and development of UTS Gallery & Art Collection programs including exhibitions, collection programs, publishing initiatives and the UTS Artist in Residence program. She is a widely published arts writer, having contributed critical writing, fiction and poetry to a variety of publications and artist’s projects since 2011 and has a track record of curating the work of international and Australian artists for diverse local contexts. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from UNSW, Art and Design.


Emily McDaniel, Powerhouse 

Emily McDaniel is Director, First Nations at The Powerhouse and an independent curator, writer and educator from the Kalari Clan of the Wiradjuri nation in central New South Wales. She consults on curatorship, cultural narratives, learning, engagement and interpretation in the public domain, the museums and galleries sector and media. Her practice is driven by truth-telling, storytelling and revealing site-specific First Nations histories through the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Emily has held numerous learning and engagement positions at Australian institutions, specialising in outreach, access and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs.


Hayley Millar Baker, artist

Hayley Millar Baker is a First Nations woman and research-based artist who uses modes of photography and film to interrogate the way memories are made through acts of remembering and misremembering. She reflects upon the potential for recollections and accounts to become improvised and embellished. Millar Baker explores human experiences through a narrative-guided lens that is non-exclusive and non-linear.