John Wolseley & Mulkun Wirrpanda in ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE – Geelong Gallery

In Events/Exhibitions March 30, 2019

Molluscs/Maypal and the warming of the seas

John Wolseley & Mulkun Wirrpanda            


30 March – 02 June 2019
Geelong Gallery

John Wolseley’s 2016 gift to Geelong Gallery of his ten metre long, six panel panoramic watercolour The pearl fisher’s voyage from Ise Shima to Roebuck Bay (1985–89) is the catalyst for an immersive installation in which Wolseley and senior Yolgnu artist and clan leader Mulkun Wirrpanda, extend their decade-long collaboration. Both artists share a profound sense of the beauty and fragility of the earth and its ecosystems, and in this project their works meditate especially on the mollusc as a powerful indicator of changing oceanic conditions and water systems.

Wolseley’s work will include unique woodblock prints taken from swamp mangroves that bear the bored channels of ‘shipworms’, a widespread species of mollusc feared by 17th and 18th century naval explorers, including James Cook, for its capacity to consume a ship’s timber, rendering it dangerously unseaworthy.

Mulkun Wirrpanda’s lyrical bark paintings and larrikitj maintain knowledge about traditional foods sourced on land and in the waters, including shipworms.

Public Programs:

Creative conversation: Art + Environment—John Wolseley in conversation with environmental journalist, Alexandra de Blas

Wednesday 24 April at 6.00pm
Cost—Members $12.00 | Non-members $15.00

For bookings and details, click here.


Images: John Wolseley, The pearl fisher’s voyage from Ise Shima to Roebuck Bay (detail) 1985-89, sumi ink and watercolour on paper on canvas. Reproduced courtesy of the artist. Photo: Jenni Carter



is a socially-engaged festival of climate change related arts and ideas featuring curated exhibitions and theatre works alongside a series of keynote lectures, events and public forums featuring local and international guests.

Presenting over thirty curated exhibitions at leading museums and galleries in Melbourne and regional Victoria, the 2019 festival will consider ideas and concepts around art and activism, community engagement, transition and accelerated action on climate change.

Alongside festival exhibitions, commissions, artist talks and keynote lectures our public programs will bring together experts in art practice and curatorship, with some of the foremost researchers in climate and environmental science, alongside prominent thinkers on cultural, philosophical and psychological consequences of climate change.

For more information on the festival programs and exhibitions visit:



Images: Installation shots of John Wolseley and Mulkun Wirrpanda’s ‘Molluscs/Maypal and the warming of the seas’. Photo: Kathleen Coelho