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The Wills Project


Inherit – to take or receive by succession or will.


The proceeds of the theft of land by the invading colonisers in 1835 has been handed down over six or seven generations in Victoria. The Wills Project is an investigation into that inheritance. megan evans has been doing work over the last 10 years on the impact of colonisation on the identity of the coloniser and their sense of belonging in the country they believe is their own.


megan’s work to date has been largely based on interrogating her own ancestors, in particular her great Grandmother Isabella Kelly nee Robertson, the first Australian born in 1860. This investigation sits in counterpoint to her late husband’s family history as a Gunditjmarra man and member of the stolen generation. The resulting work involves the use and misuse of Victorian era objects with the notion that these objects were witness to what was happening in Victoria in those times. 


The feather in Celltic symbolism ‘stands for truth, that which must rise’ 1. The wills and cartes de visites are painted with feathers, fake blood and Victorian objects. The portraits are of people from the Victorian era, lost or discarded by contemporary families, as are the wills, a testament to our discomfort at our colonial history. It asks will or won’t we confront restitution to the First Nations people on this land.



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