Bendigo Art Gallery's latest exhibition tells the story of Australia, displaying the country's iconography through paintings, photography, sculptures and fashion.
Australiana: Designing A Nation is a free exhibition and will be on display until June 25 and is made up of works from more than 200 artists and designers of iconic masterpieces.
The show is a collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria and visitors will recognise classic works such as Tom Roberts' Shearing the Rams, 1980, and Russell Drysdale's Moddy's Pub, 1941.
Curator Emma Busowsky said there were 10 gallery spaces featuring works from 1790 through to today.
"[The exhibition looks at] how artists and designers over time have been responding to ideas of what it means to be Australian," she said.
"You see them using local materials, local motifs, they reflect on our culture, on our humour.
"There's some very beautiful works, beautifully made works, and there's a lot of very funny works as well; it really speaks to what we value as Australians and how we reflect upon ourselves."
Main highlights of the exhibition include Ken Done's paintings and product designs and Melbourne-based artist Kenny Pittock's 100 individually hand-sculpted ceramic ice-creams.
Pittock's giant image of a melting Bubble O'Bill can be seen on the gallery's exterior.
Other highlights include the bush magic dress and gumnut cap by renowned fashion house Romance Was Born, Girramay, and Yidinji and Kuku Yalanji artist Tony Albert's installation Clash 2019 featuring souvenirs from First Nations people.
Works from female modernists of the early and mid-century period, including Grace Cossington-Smith, Margaret Preston, Hilda Rix Nicholas, and textile designer Frances Burke, are showcased, as well as early and modern pieces from Central Desert's artists, including Albert Namatjira, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Papunya Tula co-founder Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri, and the Hermannsburg Potters.
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Ms Busowsky said when curating the exhibition she wanted to pay close attention to First Nations people and impacts of colonisation.
She said Australia had a "problematic history" that hadn't yet been fully captured.
"We begin and end the exhibition with very strong statements of First Nations culture and history as the oldest continuing culture in the world," she said.
"We've had the opportunity to work with the Dja Dja Wurrung corporation in welcoming visitors to the exhibition and a whole raft of wonderful First Nations artists and designers who reflect upon these ideas themselves, but also present very joyous positive messages about contemporary life on country."
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