ACMI First Nations Welcome Installation

ACMI First Nations Welcome Installation

ACMI awards Mick Harding a $20,000 commission to create an animation celebrating First nations Culture.

ACMI has awarded Mick Harding, from the Yowong-Illam-Baluk and Nattarak Baluk clans of the Taungurung people, a $20,000 commission to create the ACMI First Nations Welcome Installation in the form of a vibrant animation inspired by the artist’s illustrated artworks. Mick will work in collaboration with his son Mitch Harding to develop the work.

The commission, awarded by a panel including members of the museum’s leadership team, will celebrate Victorias First Nations peoples’ and pay respect to the Traditional Owners of the land that ACMI is situated on – the Wurundjeri people of the Eastern Kulin Nation – and their connection to the lands, waters and skies. The installation will sit pride of place in ACMI’s Fed Square foyer acknowledging that Australia’s museum of screen culture is, and always will be, situated on Aboriginal land.

L–R: Artist Mick Harding with son Mitch Harding. Photo by Scott Cardwell.

Welcome Desk, Fed Square entrance, ACMI (photo by Shannon McGrath)

Welcome Desk{front view), Fed Square entrance, ACMI (photo by Shannon McGrath) 

"" We warmly congratulate Mick Harding on being awarded this $20,000 commission to create our First Nations Welcome Installation. Mick impressed all of us on the panel with his vision for a striking animation, inspired by his illustrated artwork, which combines elements of traditional and
contemporary Aboriginal art. This installation will reinforce ACM/'s
reputation for being a welcoming hub for communities to gather - where
local and international visitors can experience a strong connection to Country as they engage with
screen culture.
Gavin Somers, ACM/ Executive Director of First Nations, Equity & Social Policy

The ACMI First Nations Welcome Installation will draw inspiration from an untitled 2023 artwork featuring seven of Mick’s illustrations, that depict plants, wildlife and the elements in the style of the artist’s iconic south-eastern geometric patterns. Aiming to capture a dynamic and energetic spirit, the animation will present motifs such as a flowing river, swirling wind and a flying cockatoo, accompanied by an original soundscape featuring sounds of Country and singing in traditional language.

L–R: Untitled, illustration, Mick Harding, 2023, image courtesy of the artist. Artist Mick Harding. Image courtesy of Scott Cardwell.

About Mick Harding

Mick experimented with the moving image in his Master of Fine Art at Gippsland’s Federation University, where he exhibited as part of La Trobe Regional Gallery’s group show Sounds of Country (2016). Mick works in illustration, woodworking, sculpture, printmaking and giftware, and his work has been commissioned for public and private collections. Through his company Ngarga Warendj Dancing Wombat, Mick creates products that are created by hand and via ethical licensing agreements, to showcase his own art and works inspired by traditional Aboriginal designs.

""  I like to say ‘art is a rainbow of many things’ and I’m always mindful of my own practice demonstrating an openness to this. It’s fantastic to have ACMI’s support to create a moving image work that honours the Kulin Nations. My hope is that this installation will make everyone feel welcome on Country when they visit the museum.

Mick Harding

The ACMI First Nations Welcome Installation will be unveiled in 2024.