MAGNA 2016


MAMA (Murray Art Museum Albury) Gallery Redevelopment

Murray Art Museum Albury

Judges comments: Well visioned, wholly encapsulating visitor experience that is an experience both within and without the building. Innovative elements, such as the 24/7 art skin and Commonwealth Education Suite are well envisaged, giving both aesthetic and commercial avenues of difference. Extensive series of programming supports the exhibition building and surroundings spaces supporting both Museum and tourism objectives. 

 


Encounters: Revealing stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander objects from the British Museum 
National Museum of Australia

Judges comments: Appears to have strong community consultation and sought out cultural knowledge holders' views. Strong awareness of issues involved and courage in creating a "safe space" for difficult/dangerous ideas/issues. Great exhibition design - central fish-trap architectural motif provided binding structure - evocative circular arrangements of displays with multilevel text/information and technology. Great transparency of information - more so than most exhibitions - demonstrates commitment to the values and aims of the exhibition and the process of developing/strengthening a significant relationship with a world museum. Where to from here? This is an important conversation ... where will this lead?

Judges: Frank Howarth (Museums Australia), Carol Cartwright (Museums Australia), Andrew Hiskens (State Library of Victoria), Jo Henwood (Educator and consultant)

Level 1

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Livestream Learning: Virtual Excursions from the National Portrait Gallery 
National Portrait Gallery of Australia

That Celebrated & Eccentric Genius, "Gould" 
Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office

#Dismissal1975 project October-November 2015 
Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

WINNER

Building Our School Museum: an emerging museum education practice 
Museum Victoria and Princes Hill Primary School

Judges comments: This was a nice collaboration between a large institution and a local school, allowing students to view Melbourne Museum through the eyes of a curator because they were all curators. Nicely conceptualised, a key foundation was the strength of the relationship and mutual trust between the Museum's education staff and the key teacher at the school. This is a great example of collaboration and improving the quality and value of museum visits.

Level 2

HIGHLY COMMENDED

"I've killed my best mate" Education program 
National Trust of Australia (Vic)

From the Bay to the Battlefield 
City of Holdfast Bay - Bay Discovery Centre

WINNER

Stradbroke 100 - Remembering North Stradbroke Islanders Overseas and at Home During the First World War 
North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum

Judges comments:  This project was clearly very worthwhile as a community-building, collaborative project for the people of North Stradbroke Island to tell their stories to themselves, and throughout Australia. Very impressive effort by a small museum!

Level 3

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Remembering Them - A Commemoration of the Centenary of Service 
Western Australian Museum

WINNER

The Voyage 
Australian National Maritime Museum

Judges comments: Highly innovative education program for all utilising gamification technology. A very big and complex project which has yielded an engaging strategy game allowing students to experience the issues and complexity of planning to ship convicts to Australia. The range of partners that were involved in the project was impressive.

Level 4

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Unlocking Heritage
Sydney Living Museums

WINNER

Kspace 
National Museum of Australia

Judges comments: Loved how involved children were at every stage of this project. This is an exciting and unique activity. Not only is the project itself of high quality (partly in reflection of the budget) but this application is well written and engaging. The principles behind the new Kspace at the NMA were a key determinant in the success of the project: 1. A focus on children and families 2. Use innovative interactive technology 3. Must have strong relevance to the Museum’s themes 4. It should be fun! 5. Do what can’t be done elsewhere 6. Connect on-site and online 7. A concept that is easily communicated 8. A serviceable solution 9. A lifespan of 5-7 years.

Judges: Vicki Northey (Parliament House), Helen Walpole (National Sports Museum), Bernadette McCormack (Queensland Museum)

Level 1

WINNERS

St George Stories: people - places - community 
Hurstville Museum & Gallery

Judges comments: The approach of using simple interactivity and investing in touchscreens has enhanced the visitor experience. The Snapshot display provides an opportunity to provide changing exhibits that allow more of the collection to be seen. The emphasis on telling indigenous stories is to be commended.

Unley: 200 Years of Change 
Unley Museum

Judges comments: The emphasis on interactivity, layering of stories, active participation and discovery by the audience with the stories of Unley through the objects on display is very good. They have used simple technology which is robust and the exhibition is well presented and engaging.

Level 2

WINNER

Waterways - Our Rivers Our History 
Museums Australia - Mid North Coast Chapter

Judges comments: Outstanding project that linked core museum activities to cultural tourism priorities. The project helped to continue to preserve Australia's valued past, skilled the community in benchmark museum practices and gave further rise to a sense of community spirit in linking all the local areas and their museums. Great to see themes driven by objects and collections. The emphasis on significance has certainly worked well for this project and for the staff in the volunteer museums. The tourism network and benefits are obvious. The website and collateral are well designed and play to the strengths of each object. This is a good model for other regional networks and could easily be expanded to other collecting organisations and tourism attractions like keeping places and national parks.

Level 4

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Action Stations Experience 
Australian National Maritime Museum

WINNER

MAMA (Murray Art Museum Albury)
Murray Art Museum Albury

Judges comments: Well visioned, wholly encapsulating visitor experience that is an experience both within and without the building. Innovative elements, such as the 24/7 art skin and Commonwealth Education Suite are well envisaged, giving both aesthetic and commercial avenues of difference. Extensive series of programming supports the exhibition building and surroundings spaces supporting both Museum and tourism objectives.

Judges: Belinda Cotton (Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery), Soula Veyradier (Western Australian Museum), Suzanne Bravery (National Museum of Australia)

Level 1

HIGHLY COMMENDED

When the Great War came to Subiaco temporary exhibition 
City of Subiaco - Subiaco Museum

Remembering them: People of St George & the First World War 
Hurstville Museum & Gallery

WINNER

Feathering the Nest | Richard Nylon Meets William Johnston 
The Johnston Collection

Judges comments: An innovative and creative exhibition concept that successfully harnessed and leveraged opportunities presented by not only the profile of the artist and fashion week events surrounding it but the sheer wonder of a beautiful collection and home. There is an elegant and thoughtful use of technology and promotion strategy.

Level 2

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Orry-Kelly: Dressing Hollywood 
Australian Centre for the Moving Image

Jonathan Jones: guwiinyguliya yirgabiyi ngay yuwin.gu gulbalangidyal ngunhi (they made a solitude and called it peace) 
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery

Labours of Love, Australian Quilts 1845-2015 
Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre

Pop-Up PLAY UP 
Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

WINNERS

(in)visible: the First Peoples and War 
Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery

Judges comments: Best practice implemented in developing a multi-faceted project with Indigenous stakeholders fully consulted - ongoing conversation between an institution and a key stakeholder community. Elegantly powerful contemporary art project with strong social outcomes.

Oil Paint and Ochre: The incredible story of William Barak and the de Purys
Yarra Ranges Regional Museum

Judges comments: A thoughtful and solidly researched exhibition that has built on and strengthened stakeholder relationships and deepened visitors and local community understanding of their history and culture.

Level 3

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Myth and Magic: Art of the Sepik River 
National Gallery of Australia

WINNER

Trailblazers: Australia's 50 greatest explorers' Exhibition 
Australian Museum

Judges comments: Immersive and interactive aspects of a museum experience well incorporated into the exhibition. The use of personal stories, themes beyond the success stories and the different elements to explore lift the interest interpretation-wise. Exhibition design and layout is compelling and draws the visitor into its environment and envelopes them in the worlds of the protagonists and their experiences.

Level 4

WINNER

Encounters: Revealing stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander objects from the British Museum 
National Museum of Australia

Judges comments: Appears to have strong community consultation and sought out cultural knowledge holders' views. Strong awareness of issues involved and courage in creating a "safe space" for difficult/dangerous ideas/issues. Great exhibition design - central fish-trap architectural motif provided binding structure - evocative circular arrangements of displays with multilevel text/information and technology. Great transparency of information - more so than most exhibitions - demonstrates commitment to the values and aims of the exhibition and the process of developing/strengthening a significant relationship with a world museum. Where to from here? This is an important conversation ... where will this lead?

Judges: Margo Neale (National Museum of Australia), Djon Mundine (Curator and historian)

Level 1

WINNER

The First People of the Kiewa Valley and the Bogong High Plains
Kiewa Valley Historical Society (KVHS)

Judges comments: Kiewa Valley Historical Society is a small community museum run by volunteers who for the first time worked with a range of other bodies and agencies to create a hands-on interactive exhibition at the Mt Beauty visitor’s Centre. Aimed to display history, culture and heritage of the local Aboriginal people which had never been done for the KV&BHP Country in such a comprehensive manner, and never at the visitors centre. It engaged with the key concepts of contemporary relevance such as reinforcing continuing culture, shared history, engagement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people aimed toward community cohesion for an on- going legacy of changing attitudes through mutual respect, and innovative approaches to collaboration involving co-authorship, displays and workshops, drawing on community knowledge and scholarly evidence-based research.

Level 2

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Executed in Franklin Street 
City Gallery

Seeing the Land from an Aboriginal Canoe 
Wind and Sky Productions (in association with Culture Victoria)

Judges comments: A highly original metaphor that is consistent with the mature and positive way in which the topic of colonisation is narrated. Instead of focussing on the standard view of Aboriginal people as victims it takes on a more innovative approach by celebrating heroism, esteem, collaboration and cooperation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous settlers as well as Aboriginal generosity and entrepreneurship in the face of crisis. It also celebrates the unexpected stories of non-violent interactions and acknowledges a shared history. Recasts archival material with a strong narrative offering multiple entry points for audiences to dip into the story to different depths.

WINNER

Lore & Order 
Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery

Judges comments: Aims to research historic narratives through contemporary art and to pay tribute to the relationship between Birabahn and Rev Threlkeld. It is commendable that they appreciate and acknowledge that Indigenous visual production is more than art in the western sense, embodied in their description ‘looking at practice beyond the dot’. It is in fact the way Aboriginal people retain and transmit culture, history and traditions. Aboriginal art is history.  Other ways this project is innovative lies in the ideas it puts forward and how they are delivered: It acknowledges that when it comes to Aboriginal material the distinction between art galleries and museums are not relevant in the same way they might be when exhibiting western culture which is compartmentalised into disciplines; they incorporate community elders’ stories, with professional artists, language projects, teachers programmes and 200 school children in the production of 200 rations bags with historic texts inscribed; they promote shared history in a real way by practical collaborations between indigenous an non indigenous peoples striving towards community cohesion through active the power of cross-cultural relationships.

Level 4

WINNER

Desert River Sea 
Art Gallery of Western Australia

Judges comments: Innovative in that it pioneers a new model for state art galleries to work with remote art centres in a sustainable way in the West It involves having a campus in the regions (Broome in this case) using an approach that sustains, supports and strengthens the artists and administrators as well as fulfilling more coherently on the State institutions mandate. That is, it 'moved beyond observing collecting and exhibiting from its city base to pro-actively developing an art-focused ecology of artists industry specialists and communities from the far North West'. This demonstrates a high level of responsiveness to Aboriginal socio-cultural priorities and economic imperatives alongside contemporary art practice.