24 August 2015

MEG Event Review: Indigenous Australia at the British Museum

I always find exploring other museum collections and meeting colleagues working in other institutions a rewarding experience. Julia Nicholson and I, both from the Collections Department at the Pitt Rivers Museum, recently visited the British Museum to see the temporary exhibition Indigenous Australia enduring civilisationas part of a special tour of the exhibition, which included a talk by the Curator Gaye Sculthorpe, organised by MEG.

We met up with the rest of the group from MEG, then Gaye gave an informative and interesting introductory talk before we looked at the exhibition. The British Museum collection was very impressive - including the work of contemporary Australian Indigenous artists, as well as older objects.

The Pitt Rivers Museum, along with other institutions,  had loaned some objects for the exhibition - which had plenty of visitors - so it was good to know people had this opportunity to see them on display.

After a good look around we then met up again with Gaye, who had kindly set aside time to have an informal chat with us all after we'd looked around.

A relaxing chat after the exhibition tour
with Curator Gaye Sculthorpe
Unfortunately the exhibition closed on 2 August, however, if you are interested you can still get a copy of Indigenous Australia: enduring civilisation, which was researched and written in conjunction with the exhibition. If you are in Australia, you will be pleased to hear part of the collection is travelling there for a temporary exhibition. Plus Gaye intends to continue to bring attention to the importance of the British Museum's Australian collections, which will involve working directly with Indigenous   Australians.
Artist Billinyara Nabegeyo's
painting of the Rainbow Snake
loaned for the exhibition
PRM 1982.12.1 © Pitt Rivers Museum

On behalf of Julia and I, I'd also like to say thank you to Gaye and MEG for this opportunity for such an insightful and enjoyable day.

Zena McGreevy
Senior Assistant Curator, Pitt Rivers Museum

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