This is one of the first works you see as you enter the National Gallery of Australia. Franchesca Cubillo, senior curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the gallery, calls it a forest of souls. “The Aboriginal Memorial respects and honours the Aboriginal people who have died in 200 years of invasion and occupation by non-Indigenous people,” she says. “It was commissioned by the National Gallery of Australia and created in response to the Bicentenary celebrations. It is a statement back to the coloniser – a statement of defiance. Two-hundred hollow log coffins created by 44 Aboriginal men and women from Arnhem Land.” See this work, and the rest of the national collection, in Canberra.

For more information on this work visit: nga.gov.au/AboriginalMemorial