With a Foreword by Arweet Carolyn Briggs, the Sovereignty catalogue features essays by exhibition curators Paola Balla and Max Delany, and commissioned texts by celebrated author Dr Tony Birch and Yorta Yorta curator and writer Kimberley Moulton. Encompassing extensive documentation of artists’ works in the exhibition printed in full colour, the publication serves as a companion to the exhibition, presenting the vibrant and diverse visual art and culture of the continuous and distinct nations, language groups and communities of Victoria’s sovereign, Indigenous peoples.
Sovereignty focuses on contemporary art of First Nations peoples of South East Australia, alongside keynote historical works, to explore culturally and linguistically diverse narratives of self-determination, identity, sovereignty and resistance. Bringing together new commissions, recent and historical works by over thirty artists, Sovereignty is structured around a set of practices and relationships in which art and society, community and family, history and politics are inextricably connected. A diverse range of discursive and thematic contexts are elaborated: the celebration and assertion of cultural identity and resistance; the significance and inter-connectedness of Country, people and place; the renewal and re-inscription of cultural languages and practices; the importance of matriarchal culture and wisdom; the dynamic relations between activism and aesthetics; and a playfulness with language and signs in contemporary society.