State Government Victoria

Indigenous Art in Victoria

From the contemporary blues and roots sounds of musician Dan Sultan to the Possum Skin Cloak project initiated by artists Vicki Couzens and Lee Darroch, Indigenous Victorian (Koori) artists work across artforms in traditional and contemporary ways.

Many Koori artists work from ancestral designs and their continuing connection to the land, producing possum skin cloaks, carving emu eggs and creating artefacts such as shields, boomerangs and jewellery. Others are inspired by contemporary issues, blending cultural traditions with personal views.

All Koori art has a story to tell, bringing to life the diverse histories, cultures and experiences of Indigenous Victorians.

We invite you to explore some of the artists, organisations and collections of Indigenous Victoria.

You might like to start by viewing a video of Welcome to Country by Joy Wandin-Murphy and Carolyn Briggs.

  • Visual Art
    • Esther Kirby uses eggs, wood and emu leather to create striking works.
    • Mandy Nicholson is primarily a painter, but also produces ceramics, carvings, murals, prints, designs and children's clothing.
    • Trevor "Turbo" Brown is a Latji Latji man whose work has been collected by the National Gallery of Victoria.
    • Vicki Couzens is an established and prominent artist, well known for her role as Artistic Director of the Possum Skin Cloak project.
    • Video presentation of Victoria's Unique Koorie Culture from the Koorie Heritage Trust. Learn how Victorian Indigenous art differs from the well-known dot paintings.
  • Music
    • Black Arm Band was established in 2006 to create an orchestra of singers and song writers.
    • Dan Sultan has been dubbed "Black Elvis" due to his rock'n'roll style.
    • Dave Arden is a writer, performer and producer who works with some of Australia's best known musicians.
    • Kutcha Edwards is a Mutti Mutti man who is one of Australia's most respected singer songwriters.
    • Lou Bennett is a storyteller who narrates Koori experience through song and theatre. Her humour has made her popular with a wide audience.
  • Theatre
    • Ilbijerri is a Melbourne based theatre company that commissions and presents Indigenous stories.
  • Places and Spaces
    • Bunjilaka at Melbourne Museum holds one of the most significant Aboriginal cultural heritage collections in the world.
    • Tarerer Festival is held every November in Port Fairy. This multicultural celebration invites all to gather together in the spirit of the "meeting of the clans" from which Tarerer takes its name.

Basket grass fibre, open coil weaving.

Perception of Spirit from the Land by Marilyne Nicholls, winner of the 2008 VIAA Deadly Art Award.

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