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Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters

Monday, January 31

This exhibition forms part of the UK/Australia Season 2021-22, a major programme of cultural exchange taking place across the two nations. The Box’s presentation of Songlines continues the museum’s track record of collaborating with First Peoples around the world and follows recent exhibitions co-curated with the Wampanoag of North America – Mayflower 400: Legend & Legacy as well as Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America. It will displayed across a number of spaces at The Box and in The Levinsky Gallery at the University of Plymouth, in partnership with The Arts Institute.

Featuring over 300 paintings and objects by more than 100 artists, this is the first time the exhibition has been seen outside Australia. Originally staged at the National Museum of Australia (NMA) in Canberra and touring to Perth’s Western Australian Museum Boola Bardip, the exhibition has attracted over 400,000 visitors to date. Entirely conceived and curated by a team of First Australians, led by Margo Neale, Senior Indigenous Curator at the NMA and custodial elders from across the Central and Western Deserts of Australia, it expertly combines state-of-the art exhibition and display technologies with art, song and dance in order to share ancient stories from the world’s oldest continuing culture.

Songlines takes visitors on an epic journey that traverses three states, three deserts and some 500,000 square kilometres. The highly immersive exhibition travels from west to east: from the Western Australian coast to the APY Lands in the east, using the power of contemporary art, performance and song to re-animate traditional stories, photography, multimedia and the world’s highest-resolution seven-metre-wide travelling dome. The ‘DomeLab‘ transports viewers to places deep in the desert relating to the Seven Sisters Songlines, including the remote Cave Hill site in South Australia – home to the only known Seven Sisters rock art in the world – as well as showing animated artworks and their relationship to the stars and constellations.

21st October 2021 – 27th February 2022

📸 Seven Sisters Songline 1994 by Josephine Mick, Ninuku Arts © the artist/Copyright Agency 2020. Image: National Museum of Australia

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