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Gunga-na Dhum-nganjinu (The Stories we Hold Tightly) – Stationary Observation

2 May - 27 May

02 May – 27 May 2022

Tuesday – Friday: 12pm – 7pm
Saturdays: 12pm – 4pm
admission: Free

..we inherit stories older then recorded time. These orient us in the world and connect us as the next link in an unbroken and unending chain of survival and connection to this place…

With the support and presence of her family, Gunga-na Dhum-nganjinu (The Stories we Hold Tightly) – Stationary Observation is Isobel Morphy-Walsh attempt to visually explore and understand the culturally significant act of passing stories from one generation to another. Memory, myth, record and place are all woven together and filled with knowledge about how and why things are, were and will be.

We inherit stories older then recorded time. These orient us in the world and connect us as the next link in an unbroken and unending chain of survival and connection to this place. These stories guide us how to be and to see the inherent value in Country and what it nurtures and provides.

This exhibition looks at two fundamental parts of the intergenerational oral history tradition. For a story to survive over time and distance it must have gravitas to these who retell it. So what were old ones trying to tell us when we look at their stories or records or embellished memory? And knowing we are the next link in the chain, how do we record story, memory, narrative for our decedents so that it will stand the test of time?

The Head – The Family, holds, gives, hugs and receives

Culture and understanding is shaped by the collective. Especially in our cultures. Knowledge is itself sacred. And the holding, keeping, protecting and sharing of knowledge and culture and history is both simultaneously a personal and collective responsibility. Several members of the broader Walsh, Hamilton and Morphy families show some of their favourite stationary but moving piece, from the moment of conception documented in grass to the overlaying of knowledge and symbols once removed from Country through colonisation now returning.

The Body – I give, hold, hug and receive

Isobel Morphy-Walsh’s work explores the notions of Creation in two distinct ways. The first being to examine Biik (Bountry) and the creation of the landscape and thus the environment and culture that is infused into her bones and being. The second is through stationary object and image directly examining creation story and law.


Isobel Morphy-Walsh, a proud Nirim Baluk woman from the Taun Wurrung (Taungurung) people. She is a lover of anecdote, an artist, an activist, an educator, a singer, a storyteller and a weaver. Isobel has spent her life working with her community and our cultures with a particular emphasis on history, culture, country and its importance today.

Isobel’s creative practise is wide ranging and includes many mediums; weaving, lino printing, painting, fabric creation, woodwork, cultural objects and adornments and more recently working with metals.

Her artwork can be found in state collections, over walls she passes or on the bodies of people she knows. Many a yarn, spoken word and song can be heard in her presence. Both can be found on the internet.

Isobel has worked to deliver many major events, compressive education suites, and engaged in curatorial work with a strong and deliberate focus on First Nations cultures, communities, histories, art, expressions, and engagement. She has spent time looking into the need to decolonise galleries, libraries and museums, particularly through the treatment and interpretation of artworks, objects, images, histories and narratives and the communities they come from, and approaches taken in development.


2 May
27 May
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fortyfivedownstairs gallery
45 Flinders Lane
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
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03 9662 9966
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03 9662 9966


Isobel Morphy-Walsh
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