The Songlines exhibition tracks the epic story of the Seven Sisters, through sections of five Indigenous songlines that traverse the Western and Central Desert of Australia. The exhibition was developed using research led by Professor Howard Morphy from The Australian National University, supported by ARC Linkage Projects scheme funding.

The first exhibition of its kind, Songlines is attempting to tell—in an exhibition space—an Indigenous narrative, using Indigenous ways of passing on knowledge, in a highly interactive and immersive way.

The Songlines project has been a cross-cultural, collaborative research project involving artists, singers, storytellers, dancers, scientists and anthropologists. It has also established new research partnerships between The Australian National University, the National Museum of Australia, and remote Aboriginal organisations and Art Centres across the Western Deserts region.

The research project has laid the foundation for future research cooperation and community access to institutional collections, with the research undertaken contributing to the curatorial themes and content of two exhibitions, at the South Australian Museum and the National Museum of Australia.

Image: Songlines are the ways of passing on knowledge from Nation to Nation right across the continent. Minyari artists camp (front from left) May Wokka Chapman, Thelma Judson, Mulyatingki Marney, Karen Rogers, Ngalangka Nola Taylor, Nancy Martu Jakulyukulyu (back) Renelle Simpson, Rachael Handley. National Museum of Australia.
Image credit: Rebecca Dagnall.