Maree Clarke flourishes in Florence

The artist’s international residency culminates in an exhibition with Murate Art District.

Words: Erin Irwin

Yorta Yorta/Wamba Wamba/Mutti Mutti/Boonwurrung artist Maree Clarke has spent the past few weeks in Florence, Italy, as part of a residency with Murate Art District (MAD), in conjunction with the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology of Florence at the University of Florence, and the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence. The artist, known for her engagement with culture and Country though a diverse practice, has been busily working along the Arno to create a suite of works that celebrate forms of connection.

The project has involved the production of several site-specific installations, including work that engages with European colonial histories inspired by her time spent at the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology. Welcome to Barerarerungar, to be held at MAD, will feature necklaces formed by the artist using local river reeds. These objects possess potent symbolism, traditionally worn for long journeys to ensure safe passage and embody friendship, creating artistic linkages between two continents. The exhibition will also present extensive multimedia works, utilising historic prison cells to display projections and photographs. 

Clarke is making the most of her time in Europe, and will also be holding a talk with Sámi artist Outi Pieski and Yorta Yorta curator Kimberley Moulton at London’s Tate Modern.

Welcome to Barerarerungar has been curated by Valentina Gensini and Renata Summo O’Connell, and is open to the public until 28 July.

This article was posted 10 April 2024.

Image: Maree Clarke with Ancestral Memory, 2021, Melbourne. Photo: Eugene Hyland. Courtesy: the artist, the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, and Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne.

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