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Ancestral Memories: Artists in Conversation

Thursday, April 7, 2022 - 4:45pm

Gamble Auditorium

Join us for this exciting hybrid event celebrating a collaboration between a team of Indigenous Australian artists, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of Melbourne. Artists Maree Clarke (Mutti Mutti/Wamba Wamba/Yorta Yorta/Boonwurrung), Kerri Clarke (Boonwurrung/Wemba Wemba), Mitch Mahoney (Boonwurrung/Wemba Wemba/Barkindji), Molly Mahoney (Boonwurrung/Wemba Wemba/Barkindji), and Nicholas Hovington (Palawa) will share their artistic practices in conversation with Sabra Thorner, Assistant Professor of Anthropology.

The artists are in-residence at MHC in April 2022 as part of Professor Thorner's seminar, "Anthropology 316: Decolonizing Museums." Together, artists, students, and collaborators will be making a possum-skin cloak as an Indigenous form of storytelling and intergenerational and intercultural knowledge transmission.

This event is in-person for valid MHC ID holders in Gamble Auditorium; reception to follow.

For those who would like to join us virtually, click here to register via Zoom.

Co-sponsored by the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, Department of Anthropology, Art Studio Department, Art History Department, History Department, Environment Studies Department, Film Media Theater Department, Gender Studies Department, Zowie Banteah Cultural Center, Fimbel Maker and Innovation Lab, and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This collaboration is generously made possible by a Five Colleges Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) grant from the Mellon Foundation.

Maree Clarke is an internationally-renowned artist who has recently been featured in the first retrospective of a living Indigenous artist at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia (see Over a span of three decades, she has become a matriarch and leader in the reclamation and revitalization of art and cultural practices in southeastern Australia, and her multidisciplinary work includes textiles, photography, printmaking, sculpture, jewelry, glass, and more. She is joined in this artist residency by her husband, Nicholas Hovington; her niece, Kerri Clarke; and Kerri’s son and daughter, Mitch Mahoney and Molly Mahoney, all of whom have developed their own arts and cultural practices. Together, their work emphasizes intergenerational and intercultural sharing, bringing together deep engagement with the ceremonies, rituals, objects, and languages of Ancestors with the innovation necessary to keep these vibrant into the future. Their collaboration with us at Mount Holyoke is part of a multi-year project to imagine and forge a Living Archive.