Overview Introduction Foreword Preface Essays

Bec Cole
Chair, NETS Victoria Board
July, 2023

NETS Victoria is proud to support the regional Victorian tour of Collective Movements. First presented at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), this expansive project has been co-curated by Taungurung artist and curator Kate ten Buuren, Lardil and Yangkaal artist and curator Maya Hodge and N’Arweet Professor Carolyn Briggs AM PhD, with support from Bundjalung, Muruwari and Kamilaroi artist and senior academic Professor Brian Martin, Director of the Wominjeka Djeembana Indigenous Research Lab, Monash University.  

Collective Movements is a celebration of First Nations collectives, collaborations and creative practices from across Victoria. Featuring the work of ten First Nations creative practitioners and groups, the exhibition presents notions of togetherness as integral to Indigenous knowledges and ways of being. Each of the artist groups featured exemplify ways of working that are in relationship to community and place. Their work makes visible historic and contemporary contributions by First Nations practitioners to artistic collectivism in Victoria over the last thirty years. 

NETS Victoria is proud to have supported the development phase of this exhibition through our Exhibition Development Fund, supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria. The regional tour of Collective Movements is made possible through the support of the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts. Excitingly, this support has enabled the commission of two additional, original works which will be presented as part of the regional tour: a new billboard by The Torch, and a new iteration of Gunyah Manu by this mob. NETS Victoria is also delighted to publish a digital catalogue alongside this tour – an abridged version of a more comprehensive printed catalogue published by MUMA – making the writing of leading First Nations artists, curators and writers accessible to new audiences.

Bringing the work of leading artists and creative practitioners to regional communities is at the heart of NETS Victoria’s work. Collective Movements speaks to our role as a bridging organisation, fostering collaboration through curatorial, financial and administrative support to generate dialogue around contemporary art across diverse locations in Australia. This tour provides a unique opportunity to return the works and stories of some of these artists and collectives to the places they were born. This is NETS Victoria’s strength, acting as connective tissue for stories and experiences nationally.  

On behalf of the Board and Artistic Program Advisory Committee of NETS Victoria, I would like to thank all of the artists involved for their generosity in sharing their artworks, archives, stories and knowledge and informing a project that provides new language and systems from which we can all collectivise. I would once again like to congratulate the curators on an ambitious and sensitive exhibition and acknowledge the committed work of former MUMA Director Charlotte Day and former Senior Curator Hannah Mathews, as well as current MUMA Senior Curator Pip Wallis, Curator – Exhibitions Francis E. Parker, and Curator – Research Melissa Ratliff.