National Museum of Australia | 27 May to 18 September 2022 | Free
See First Nations objects from the National Museum of Australia's collection alongside a newly commissioned range of appliances featuring stunning designs from contemporary artists in An Aboriginal Culinary Journey: Designed for Living.
Part of the Breville Art Series, this exhibition is a partnership between First Nations peoples, Breville and the National Museum of Australia, producing objects for the heart of the home that celebrate contemporary design and reflect 65,000 years of ongoing Indigenous culture. This exhibition will tour internationally from late 2022.
Alison Page, Breville Art Series Curator, Walbanga and Wadi Wadi peoples:
We’re applying a story and meaning to the objects that people use every day.
For some 2,000 generations Australian Aboriginal people have been gathering around campfires to prepare and cook food. They have used various tools and appliances. These include boomerangs for bringing down game, coolamons for collecting bulbs, grains and small game. Fire sticks were used to light fires for cooking, and containers were made from bark or seaweed (kelp) to carry water, while grinding stones were used to make bread from seeds and to crush berries and other plants.
Today Aboriginal people, like most Australians, like to stock up on labour-saving devices, which have largely replaced traditional tools. But their purpose remains the same. People still gather in kitchens to toast their breads, grind their coffee beans, and prepare refreshments for family and friends. These modern hearths and ‘campfires’ are also where different cultures meet.
Wrapped in Country, these once ordinary appliances have become cultural ambassadors, not unlike the Aboriginal paintings that adorn the walls of people’s homes. They act like doorways to Indigenous knowledges, giving insights into our continuing connection to Country.
Dr Mathew Trinca AM, Director of the National Museum of Australia:
Partnerships strengthen and broaden the work of the Museum. We are delighted to partner with Breville on An Aboriginal Culinary Journey, a project that shares Australia’s 65,000 years of Indigenous culture in a modern-day context.
Adjunct Professor Margo Ngawa Neale, Senior Indigenous Curator and Principal Advisor, National Museum of Australia
Living in the heart of people's homes these once ordinary appliances, now wrapped in Country, become cultural ambassadors.
Breville is donating 100 per cent of its profits from the collection to the National Indigenous Culinary Institute of Australia, Indi Kindi by the Moriarty Foundation and other initiatives supporting the creation of opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.