The 26th Shepparton Festival in Victoria launched on Friday featuring UNEARTHED, a projection mapped mural and microverse.

The project showcases a mural with contemporary re-workings of Yorta Yorta shields and enlarged micrographs with an icon in the mural connecting the audience to a microverse.

When scanned, the icon allows the audience to access an explorable digital landscape.

The mural is a collaboration between Yorta Yorta artist Lorraine Brigdale, Indian new media artist Akshat Nauriyal and artists from PluginHUMAN.

Over the launch weekend, the mural will be transformed at night into a projection mapped light experience created by Justin Dwyer from PluginHUMAN.

Indigenous Artist Lorraine Brigdale said the project was an opportunity to unite a First Nations (Yorta Yorta) woman’s view of Aboriginal war shields together with contemporary ideas in scientific imagery, illumination, and video art.

“It’s a combination of nature and aboriginal images,” she said.

Ms Brigdale said the shields used were inspired after witnessing children being affected during COVID-19 and a lack of space for their voice.

“My message using the shields is about strength and resilience, and how we have to find it within ourselves throughout our lives,” she said.

Artist Justin Dwyer said the UNEARTHED speaks to hidden things that have been revealed through collaboration.

“Collaboration takes time, time for the tendrils of thought and action to meet and join in a cohesive way,” he said.

“I see the mural as a prepared canvas.”

The festival also features Upscale: Biyula Country, a project where Aboriginal artists will be mentored by established artist Troy Firebrace.

The Shepparton Festival runs from March 18 to April 3.

  • Story by Karuna Balasubramanian