The Age is inviting artists and leaders in the field to nominate a favourite local work. Tom Mosby of the Koorie Heritage Trust chose Josh Muir’s Still Here.
Josh Muir’s Still Here was an animated light projection on the façade of the NGV for White Night 2016. Muir is a young Yorta Yorta/Gunditjmara multi-media artist from Ballarat, then in his mid-20s. The work was a partnership between the NGV and White Night with support from the Koorie Heritage Trust. Despite depression and drug abuse during his teen years, he has developed an impressive street art style that has seen him gain prominence as a young contemporary urban artist.
For Muir, art has been a stabilising influence and to get such a major commission was a turning point and certainly a career-defining moment. It was significant for him personally but also for Victorian Aboriginal artists more generally.
For a long time, Indigenous art in Australia has been defined by Central and Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Queensland. With the rise of young contemporary artists such as Muir, the spotlight in Victoria has turned towards what is being produced in this state, which is terrific, because undeniably we have a very strong traditional and contemporary art tradition.