The highly anticipated narrm ngarrgu Library and Family Services centre officially opens today in the Queen Victoria Market precinct.

Pronounced ‘nahm nar-GUW’, and meaning ‘Melbourne Knowledge’ in Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung language, the name, the materials, artworks – even the design of the carpet – honour and celebrate the First Nations community.

Gallery represented artist Maree Clarke, in collaboration with other creatives and designers, was pivotal in shaping the centre’s immersive spaces, including:

–    a carpet representing the Kulin Nation’s seven seasons through plants and animals in the Children’s Library
–    a mirrored glass forest passageway also in the Children’s Library
–    a six metre eel trap with a three metre flute on the outdoor terrace for children to climb on and crawl through
–    the main library’s watercolour map of the five clans of the Kulin Nation
–    a cast of her husband Nicholas Hovington’s coolamon in cast iron for smoking ceremonies

Designed to invite reflection, learning, ceremony and play – the artworks at narrm ngarrgu (including works by gallery represented artists Kent Morris and Naomi Hobson, as well as Lisa Waup, Leah King-Smith, Sonia Hodge and Peter Wapels-Crow) have been curated by Dr Megan Evans to celebrate the rich contribution First Nations people make to the life of the city, share stories of Country and speak to the impact of colonisation.

Backed by sustainability and user experience design values, the 11-level tower hosts the City of Melbourne’s new narrm ngarrgu Library and Family Services with a dedicated children’s library, creative makerspace, podcast and audio recording studios, affordable housing, a landscaped terrace, an event auditorium, the Lord Mayor Charitable Foundation Hub and fine grain retail.

narrm ngarrgu Library and Family Services Centre
Opens today, Saturday 25.11.2O23, 1Oam – 4pm
narrm ngarrgu Library and Family Services
141 Therry Street
Melbourne VIC 3OOO


Image: Image: Maree Clarke with her lenticular lightboxes of flora and fauna of the Kulin Nation at narrm ngarrgu Library and Family Services, Melbourne, 2O23. Photography: Vivien Anderson.

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