Songlines - Tracking the Seven Sisters @ NMA

14 September 2017

Songlines – Tracking the Seven Sisters has opened at the National Museum of Australia. It is an exhibition to experience the culmination of not just the history of the Aboriginal Songlines stories and the journeys across the country tracking them, but of the efforts of so many to bring them to a place where we can learn and understand, but also be amazed and become immersed in the ancient and the modern as they coalesce in an extraordinary collection of stories, paintings and artefacts.

Experiential is one way to describe the journey when language is not available. Immersive in the use of technology to demonstrate these stories, involve and engage in the significance of these creation epics across the country, is a triumph for the museum in finding a new way to explain them. Songlines – Tracking the Seven Sisters shows that collaboration, sensitivity and thoughtful  understanding of how we must work with Indigenous people to compile and share their oral history in a way that utilises new technologies and brings them to a wider audience and opens new possibilities for museums and galleries.   

You begin with the Seven Sisters. Impressive woven- women created by the Tjanpi Desert Weavers and then progress to travel on through the displays of country and sites integral to the creation of this continent for Aboriginal people and a tangible Songline to understand.

What will amaze visitors is the Dome Lab where virtual reality takes us back to the 1950’s nuclear bomb testing in South Australia where elder Nyarri Nyarri Morgan reminds us of that time, and the Seven Sisters become part of the skies forming constellations. It’s a ‘strap yourself in’ for a journey realised by Director Lynette Wallworth and demonstrates the possibilities for immersive experiences in telling the complex stories of not just this aspect of Aboriginal Songlines, but many of the traditional stories  that should be shared.

Book now at the NMA, it is a wonder to experience and share until 25 February.