The Sea is Our History and Our Future

The Sea is Our History and Our Future

Thu 11 Apr 2024 5:30pm


The University of Queensland Art Museum
The James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre (11)
University Drive
The University of Queensland
St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland 4072
UQ Art Museum

Join Lisa Reihana and Mykaela Saunders, in conversation with Ellen Van Neerven, as they discuss their practices of storytelling around Indigenous histories and futures connected to the Great Ocean.

In her film GROUNDLOOP, Lisa Reihana imagines a future where the ocean is a superhighway – an everyday connector between Indigenous voyagers from Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia; while in Always Will Be, Mykaela Saunders imagines a future version of the Tweed and how the local Goori community might reassert sovereignty while practising creative, ancestrally approved ways of living with changing climates.

This conversation has been convened in collaboration with Ellen Van Neerven.

5:30pm: Complimentary refreshments available.
6:00pm: Conversation with Mykaela Saunders and Lisa Reihana chaired by Ellen Van Neerven.
7:00pm: Explore the exhibition How We Remember Tomorrow.

Please note any accessibility requirements through the Eventbrite registration page. The option to provide this information will be available on the page after you click 'Register'. Please note that a two week lead time is required to secure Auslan interpretation for this event.

Visit our website for our accessibility information.


Ellen van Neerven is an award-winning writer of Mununjali and Dutch heritage. They have authored two poetry collections, Throat and Comfort Food, one work of fiction, Heat and Light, and a hybrid memoir called Personal Score, which received the 2024 Victorian Premier’s Prize for non-fiction.

Lisa Reihana

Born 1964, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Lives and works in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Selected solo exhibition include: ihi – mother & son, Milford Gallery, Dunedin, NZ; In the Shadow of Venus – Lisa Reihana and Pacific Taonga, MARKK Museum am Rothemburg, Hamburg, Germany; in Pursuit of Venus [infected], Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, Auckland, NZ, and international touring venues (2015-2019); and Lisa Reihana: Emissaries, Biennale Arte 2017: Venice, Italy, and international touring venues (2017-2019). Selected grouped exhibitions include Unnatural History, Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry, UK (2021); Wheke Roroheko ‘Pacific Sisters Online’, Auckland, NZ (2020); Southern Transmissions: Contemporary Video Art from Oceania, Duolun Museum of Modern Art Centre, Shanghai, China (2020); Cosmopolis, Georges Pompidou Centre, Paris, France (2019); and APT-9, QAGOMA, Brisbane (2018). Her work is held by Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, NZ; Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; and Staatliche Museum, Berlin. Reihana is represented by Gallery Sally Dan Cuthbert, Sydney and Page Galleries, Wellington.

DR MYKAELA SAUNDERS is the author of ALWAYS WILL BE (UQaP 2024), which won the David Unaipon Award, and the editor of THIS ALL COME BACK NOW, the Aurealis Award-winning, world-first anthology of blackfella speculative fiction (UQP 2022). Mykaela has won other prizes for fiction, poetry, life writing and research, including the Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize and the Oodgeroo Noonuccal Indigenous Poetry Prize. She is a postdoctoral research fellow at Macquarie University. Of Dharug and Lebanese descent, Mykaela belongs to the Tweed Goori community.


Image: Lisa Reihana. GROUNDLOOP, 2022. single channel digital video with multi-layered audio. Collection: Art Gallery of New South Wales. Commissioned with funds provided by the Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation, Creative New Zealand and the following visionary donors: Anna Dudek and Brad Banducci, Simon Johnson and David Nichols, Michael Martin and Elizabeth Popovski, The Papas Family, Bill and Karen Robinson, Rae-ann Sinclair and Nigel Williams, and Jenny and Andrew Smith 2022. © Lisa Reihana. 348.2022. 

Image Description: A figure dressed in a brown, ruffled garmnet stands poised with their hands in front of their face among multiple pillars of brown and grey strata.