Teacher background notes

Exhibition opens daily from 10am to 5pm
25 June- 20 November 2016
SLQ Gallery level 2 and kuril dhagun level 1.

Download the Teacher background notes  (PDF 340.7 KB)

SLQ’s programming theme for 2016 is: Belonging - Connection, Country, Culture

Art of the Skins

Awakening South East Queensland historical traditions through contemporary art, Art of the Skins revitalises the practice of possum skin cloak making. Be inspired by how knowledge is gained and passed on through six richly decorated cloaks, collaboratively designed by Aboriginal community members.

In a trail that weaves from SLQ Gallery to kuril dhagun, explore historical and contemporary artefacts, accounts and images; hear oral histories from Elders, artists and academics; and be immersed in a vivid installation of contemporary representations of Country. Paying homage to those who’ve come before us, Art of the Skins embodies the continuous, ever-growing and adapting nature of Australia’s first cultures.

Possum skins used in this project were legally and ethically sourced from New Zealand.

kuril dhagun, level 1

Art of the Skins in kuril dhagun showcases a multidisciplinary display of work inspired by the revitalisation of Aboriginal possum skin cloak making traditions.

Artists Carol McGregor and Glennys Briggs’ practices are immersed in connections between country, artistic expressions, cultural artefacts and strengthening local Aboriginal communities through exploring hidden histories and cultural practices. They aim to represent their shared connection to place, reclaiming the suppressed histories and conveying the resilience of Aboriginal cultural identity.

SLQ Gallery, level 2

Art of the Skins shares the uncovered histories of South East Queensland’s possum skin cloaks and the story of the artists who have recently revived this practice for local Aboriginal communities.

Aboriginal artists and researchers Carol McGregor and Glennys Briggs have facilitated skill-sharing workshops on the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Gold Coast to awaken traditions through the contemporary making of cloaks.

The workshops encouraged collaborations and the exchange of knowledge and stories. Art of the Skins has brought together families and communities, strengthening relationships and cultural connections.

Art of the Skins

Awakening historical traditions through contemporary art.

Teaching notes and suggested learning activities

Designed to support the exhibition, the teaching notes and learning activities align with the Australian Curriculum in English, History, Geography, Design and Technology, with a focus on the cross-curriculum priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. This resource can be used to enhance students’ learning experiences pre-visit, at the library, and post-visit. The resource is divided into three parts, available as downloadable PDFs.

Using the teaching notes and learning activities off-site

For the full experience, we recommend visiting the exhibition at State Library of Queensland.

Viewing the cloaks

If you are unable to visit, you can view the cloaks via downloadable Powerpoint or PDF files.

Students can also access information and images from the exhibition website.


Interviews were conducted with researches, artists and community members who were involved with the project. Videos can be viewed here:

Arranging your visit to SLQ

To book a group visit to Art of the Skins, contact the Learning Team at learning@slq.qld.gov.au or 07 3842 9293.

Please indicate the following when enquiring:

  • Name of school
  • Contact details of organiser
  • Proposed date and time
  • Number of students and adults attending
  • Year level and subject

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