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Exhibition story

A view of shields installed on plinths in a gallery space, with a set of a shield and sword visible on a white wall in the background.

‘I, Object’ considers the many complex relationships Indigenous Australian artists have to objects — from the histories informing their creation to the social and cultural consequences of their collection — and juxtaposes historical objects alongside works by contemporary artists.

This exhibition demonstrates the great pride and inspiration of inherited cultural practices and historical Indigenous objects and reveals the difficulties posed by their collection and estrangement.

‘I, Object’ was on display at GOMA from 3 August 2019 to 29 August 2021, and tours regionally from 5 Aug 2023 to 30 Mar 2025.

Cultural sensitivity warning
QAGOMA would like to respectfully advise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers that this resource contains images and references to the deceased, references to massacres and mentions of derogatory language.

Feature image: View of ‘I, Object’, featuring Queensland shields dated c.1880s–1900s by unnamed ancestors, with Michael Boiyool Anning’s Rainforest shield (pond skater design) and sword 2000–01 visible in the background, GOMA, August 2019 / Collection: QAGOMA / © Michael Boiyool Anning/Copyright Agency / Photograph: N Harth, QAGOMA

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