Baluk Arts is an urban Aboriginal community arts centre based in Mornington, Victoria. Baluk supports artistic, career and audience development for visual artists of the Bayside, Peninsula and greater Melbourne. Baluk is a local Boonwurrung word meaning many or group of people and this reflects the diversity of their artists and their work. Emerging and established Baluk artists hail from all over Australia and their art expresses their identity and cultural heritage in a contemporary context.
Baluk Arts was founded almost 10 years ago by a group of Aboriginal artists in Frankston, Victoria. Through Baluk Arts, family groups and members of the stolen generation have reconnected with their culture and express their histories thorough strong artistic practices to support their cultural and creative wellbeing. Baluk arts encourages community developments, youth leadership, participation and interaction and Indigenous governance though innovative arts practice.
Five Key female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from Baluk Arts showcase a rich quality and diverse range of works made entirely from natural materials. Exquisite works made from materials such as bull kelp, shells, bones, clay, wool, wood, assorted fibres, river reed and feathers honour mother earth and evoke memories of personal history. Each artist has a strong connection to the material they have utilised in their work, whether it be from the sea or the land.
These art works emanate strong cultural ties to individual stories and complexed interconnections. Through the collecting of materials from places lived or travelled to, examining them, and finding considered new uses, these strong Indigenous women identify with their heritage and reclaim and reignite their innate cultural expression. This collection of works explores both the protective and nurturing role of nature, and the ancient practice of using elements from the natural world to create diverse works as a rich expression of culture, identity and place that links generations together.