By Jane Gardner
Gordon artist and proud Wadawurrung woman, Aunty Marlene Gilson, says she’s always had a love of history, houses and nature.
So it’s no surprise her latest exhibition, currently on show at the Koorie Heritage Trust in Federation Square in Melbourne, combines all three.
Marlene’s exhibition, entitled “What If?” includes paintings that explore colonisation and the idea of Aboriginal people landing on the shores of England.
Marlene’s paintings depict colourful detailed images of many historical moments. From William Buckley (an escaped convict who was adopted by the Aboriginals) to the Ballarat Goldfields or the Melbourne Cup race day picnics at Lal Lal Falls, there’s no end to the information and stories contained in Marlene’s paintings.
There’s even one of the humble beginnings of Australian Rules Football, where Aboriginal men kick a possum skin ball.
Marlene shares her current exhibition with her equally talented daughter Deanne Gilson, who calls her exhibition ‘Murnong: Yam Daisies’, which also explores colonisation and the effect it had and continues to have on Aboriginal women.
Marlene and Deanne’s interest in history is expressed through their images, using paint and ceramics.
“Post 1850, Aboriginal people disappeared from the colonial landscape,” Marlene said.
“Deanne and I have created works that share our experiences of colonisation and how our family has been effected.”
‘What If?’ and ‘Murnong-Yam Daisies’, is on at Federation square until Sunday October 8.