Tahlia Palmer named Creative in Residence at Victorian Archives Centre

Tahlia Palmer named Creative in Residence at Victorian Archives Centre
Brendan Rees

Interdisciplinary artist Tahlia Palmer has been chosen as the inaugural Creative in Residence at North Melbourne’s Victorian Archives Centre.

Ms Palmer, a Melbourne-based artist of Murri and European descent, is known for thought-provoking explorations of history, identity, and perception.

“I am extremely influenced by my knowledge of the lives of my Yuwaalaraay ancestors, who were dislocated from our ancestral Country early on in the colonial project, moving through NSW and QLD over generations, with some forced to work in servitude to survive,” she told North West City News.

“My goals for the residency are to increase my knowledge of histories of land and water management since colonisation, and to develop a body of work exploring these histories with a critical analysis of the settler colonial mentality.”

“I applied for this residency having already started this research project, so it was with great relief and gratitude that I read the acceptance email, knowing that I would be supported in multiple ways in this research by the Public Records Office.”

The Victorian Archives Centre, located at the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV), holds digital and physical records of state and local governments from 1836.



Ms Palmer’s selection marks a milestone, as she will have a paid opportunity of using these historical records for her new creative work including new sound and video pieces based on her research into PROV’s map and photographic collections for three months during her residency.

Asked what message she hoped to send to her audiences, she said her work was an “invitation for contemplation”.


Every Australian person has a different relationship with the European colonisation of the Australian continent, so I create work that encourages self-reflection in relation to this fact.


Ms Palmer spoke of her grandfather who was placed in the Indooroopilly Boys Home by his white father after her Murri great-grandmother died, keeping her Poppa from maintaining ties with his Aboriginal family.

“This experience of forced assimilation left an indelible mark on him and his descendants, including myself, so I work with this understanding to resist that assimilation for myself, to re-establish connection with family, culture, language, spirituality and country,” she explained.

“This comes out in my work through the interrogation of politics and environmental issues, and the privileging of Indigenous worldviews when developing each work.”

Ms Palmer’s residency followed a judging process of more than 70 applications from artists, musicians, and writers.

Her creativity progress through the residency will be shared online by the PROV. The public will be welcomed to an exhibition showcasing Ms Palmer’s final work.


Caption: Interdisciplinary artist Tahlia Palmer. Photo: PROV.

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