Songlines at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit

Friday, March 16, 2018 - 14:00

The ASEAN-Australia Special Summit is an opportunity to share and celebrate the cultures of Australia and Southeast Asia.  It will advance Australia’s engagement with ASEAN through sharing our history, cultures and ideas.

The Special Summit venue will feature key works from the National Museum of Australia’s Songlines: Tracking the Seven SistersToday, internationally renowned Senior Curator and Adjunct Professor, Margo Neale, provided Southeast Asia’s Leaders with a tour of this groundbreaking exhibition.

Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters features a dramatic chase across the Australian deserts. A world-first in scale and complexity, Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters is an ancient creation saga told in paintings and photographs, objects, song, dance and multimedia narrating the story of the Seven Sisters, as they traverse the continent from west to east, through three states, three deserts and across some 500,000 square kilometers.

This project was inspired by an investigative collaboration between senior custodians of Martu country and Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara and Ngaanyatjarra lands of Australia’s Central and Western deserts. Indigenous elders set out to preserve the Seven Sisters Dreaming for future generations and to promote global understanding of the stories, versions of which are told worldwide.

There is a long and rich history of cultural and trade links between Southeast Asia and Australia, with Indigenous Australians travelling to the far reaches of Southeast Asia long before white settlers arrived.

The Special Summit is proud to host a few elements from Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters

  • Kungkarangkalpa (Seven Sisters) ceramics, 2016. Ernabella Arts: Alison Milyika Carroll, Rupert Jack, Tjimpuna Williams, Elizabeth Dunn, Rachael Mipantjiti Lionel, Fiona Wells, Janelle Muwitja Nakamarra Thompson, and Lynette Lewis
  • Kungkarangkalpa – Seven Sisters, 2015.  Artists: Tjungkara Ken, Yaritji Young, Maringka Tunkin, Freda Brady and Sandra Ken
  • Minyipuru at Pangkal, 2016.  Artists: Mulyatingki Marney, Nancy Nyanjilpayi Chapman and May Wokka Chapman
  • Snake sculptures, 1982–92 Artists: Ikula, Niningka Lewis, Mildred Nyunkiya Lyons, Nora, Jean Inyalanka Burke, Billy Cooley, Pulya Taylor, Nellie Nungarrayi Patterson, Tiger and Kanginy, Maruku Arts

Special thanks to the custodian of Martu country, Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands, Ngaanyatjarra lands, Margo and the National Museum of Australia