Marking Time

Exhibition and Shows

8 Nov 2019 to 14 Jun 2020

This exhibition explores drawings and markings of figures, signs or text made on public surfaces across Indigenous Australia, from rock face to now. The impulse to draw and make images is deeply embedded in Indigenous cultures and is fundamental to human experience.

This exhibition shows that this ephemerality can be counteracted by the inventions of Indigenous artists who reimagine a recovered and regenerated visual language and thus present new forms of aesthetic durability. For instance, ochre images that stain the rock escarpment of Western Arnhem Land have been re-imagined on bark or in sculpture. Artists of the Western Desert transfer designs from the ceremonial ground and body to the wider world of circulating images on gallery walls. Reko Rennie and Brook Andrew translate incisions on carved trees or shields into bold neon icons, whereas Josh Muir and Hannah Brontë use video art to communicate voices of dissent, create dialogue between groups and to effect change.

Drawings made on public surfaces can communicate a voice of dissent as well as affirmation. An unbroken visual phenomenon, such communication of Indigenous presence and primacy attests to the continued relevance and power of Indigenous expression within the art canon of this nation and beyond.


Cafe Carpark Disabled access available Family Friendly Free Wifi Non Smoking Parents Room Public Toilet Restaurant Shop


Free Entry

Event Times

8 Nov 2019 to 14 Jun 2020

Once Only Event


NGV Australia, Federation Square

Corner Flinders Street & Russell Street, Melbourne, 3000

Nearby Accommodation

View All
Melbourne Metro YHA Reception

Melbourne Metro YHA

North Melbourne, Melbourne

1 Bedroom Apartment

BreakFree on Collins


Kitchen living room

City Tempo – Whiteman St

Southbank, Melbourne

Crest on Park

Crest on Park

St Kilda West, Port Phillip


Seasons Botanic Gardens


Claremont Hotel

Hotel Claremont Guest House

South Yarra, Stonnington