Installation view of Keith Wikmunea <em>Tee’wiith yot-a! (Plenty of white cockatoos!)</em> 2022 and Vernon Marbendinar Nguk-al yotam-an Puulwuya! 2022 at Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, 2022. Keith Wikmunea <em>Tee’wiith yot-a! (Plenty of white cockatoos!)</em> 2022, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Purchased with funds donated by Krystyna Campbell-Pretty AM and Family, 2022. Vernon Marbendinar <em>Nguk-al yotam-an Puulwuya!</em> 2022, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Purchased with funds donated by Barbara Hay and the Hay Family, 2022. Photo: Michael Marzik<br/>
© Keith Wikmunea​ and Vernon Marbendinar

Salon Talk & Tour: Joshua Yeldham, Ashley Eriksmoen, Keith Wikmunea with Ewan McEoin & Myles Russell-Cook

Past program
Sun 3 Dec 23, 4pm–4.45pm

Free entry

NGV International

Level 2

Triennial artists Joshua Yeldham, Ashley Eriksmoen, and Keith Wikmunea come together with NGV Senior Curators Ewan McEoin and Myles Russell-Cook for a discussion centred on concepts of nature, landscape and connection to environment, surrounded by their works on display in the NGV Salon Gallery.

Joshua Yeldham’s deep appreciation and awareness of nature, reflected in his gradual artistic process (which the artist compares to the pace of a growing plant) and intricate representations of the natural world, parallels Ashley Eriksmoen’s exploration of environmental relationships through the repurposing of furniture elements to portray the essence of a tree.

Similarly, the intricate carvings of totemic animals by Keith Wikmunea and the depictions of nocturnal events by Vernon Marbendinar demonstrate a shared reverence for ancestral totems and the natural landscape, embodying a profound cultural connection to the environment and the stories embedded within it.

Despite their distinct approaches, these artists all intertwine narratives of nature, human interaction, and cultural heritage, underscoring the complex interplay between human existence and the natural world.

About the speakers

Keith Wikmunea is a Wik-Alkan man from his mother’s side and Wik-Mungkan from his father’s side. His totems are the white cockatoo, goanna, galah, and frilled-neck lizard. Wikmunea’s father’s Country is Kencherang, north of Aurukun. As an artist, Wikmunea is passionate about passing on his creative and cultural knowledge to future generations. His vision is for Wik and Kugu Art Centre to support artists in keeping culture strong and alive. For Triennial, Wikmunea presents Tee’wiith yot-a! (Plenty of White Cockatoos!) with Nguk-al yotam-an Puulwuya! by fellow artist Vernon Marbendinar.

Ashley Eriksmoen engages in a studio-based practice of critical design. Over the past decade, Ashley has been salvaging timber and appropriating discarded wood furniture to construct her works. She has steered away from narrow disciplinary boundaries, pursuing furniture in the expanded field as a way of addressing pressing environmental issues including natural resource use, consumer waste, deforestation and wildlife habitat reductions. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including the Clarence Prize for Excellence in Furniture Design (2021), the Australian Furniture Design Award (2022), and the Andrea Stretton Memorial Invitational Award at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi (2022).

Joshua Yeldman works across painting, carved photography, ceramics and sculpture. Yeldham’s work conflates these various media. His work ranges from characteristic hand-carved paintings with sculptural assemblages on board, to pierced and carved photographs. Yeldham was awarded the Nancy Fairfax Artist Residency in 2017, through which the artist created new works exhibited in association with his retrospective exhibition at Tweed Regional Gallery. He has been an award finalist for the Wynne Prize Archibald Prize, Sulman Prize, and Mosman Art Prize, and in 2015 he participated in the London Art Fair, ART15.

Ewan McEoin is the Senior Curator Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Myles Russell-Cook is the Senior Curator of Australian and First Nations Art at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Talks and discussions Triennial NGV International