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  • Writer's pictureAlex First

Shadow Spirit (above Flinders Street Station) - 90 minutes

Shadow Spirit is an artistic showcase – a microcosm of what is impressive and meaningful about indigenous culture.


It is an eye and ear pleasing experience, which uses a variety of forms to bring to life 60,000 years of rich heritage and tradition.


I speak of projections, artwork, sculpture, animation, video, music and more.

Curated by Kimberley Moulton, we are invited to wander through a dozen rooms and see the work of 30 First Peoples’ artists and collectives from across Australia.


Knowledge and inherited memory are the keys to linking people with place and the ecology of the land, sea and sky.


Included in the exhibition are 14 newly commissioned works.


There are accounts of ancestral creatures that created and inhabited rivers and oceans, and celestial beings that have mapped the cosmos. The collection also includes connections to the metaphysical.

The five themes are Weaving Time, The Guides, Absent Presence, The In-Between and Spirit Ecologies.


Weaving Time goes back to the first sunrise. The Guides contemplate the energy and people that show us the way on earth and in the stars.


Absent Presence looks at the space between what we feel and what we know. The In-Between takes us to shapeshifting and multiverses.


Spirit Ecologies provides insight into the spirit world, giving voice to stories and legends of energies and otherworldly beings.

I was captivated by many of the art works, but my piece de resistance was the awe-inspiring display in the old ballroom.


In the middle of the room is monolith that reminded me of Uluru.


In the space of a few minutes, I saw an ever-changing array of projections of flora and fauna upon the rock against ochre and black backgrounds.


The stunning, colourful, mesmerising collage extends onto the floor.

Known as Rarrirarri, the senior artist and cultural director of the work is Muluymuluy Wirrpanda.


Shadow Spirit is a remarkable platform of ingenuity and enterprise, which highlights the magnificent creative minds of First Nations’ people.


It took me 90 minutes to leisurely walk through.


It is on show above Flinders Street station until 30th July, 2023 and is a centrepiece of the RISING Festival.


For details of the full RISING program, go to https://rising.melbourne


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