Having written an article – even before it opened – about how interesting I expected the ‘Encounters’ exhibition at the National Museum of Australia to be, based solely on publicity about its content, I thought I’d better get there before it finished. The exhibition has now closed and very soon all the ancient objects borrowed from the British Museum will retrace their original paths from Australia to Britain. Why review an exhibition that no longer exists?
|The National Museum of Australia sits on the Acton Peninsula in Canberra, on Ngunnawal country.|
‘Encounters’ the exhibition, a brief moment in our shared history, may have finished, but it has left us once again to our own drawn-out real encounters with our predecessors on this continent. The exhibition may have finished but the experiences it speaks of continue. For that reason it’s worth reflecting at some length on the exhibition and what it meant from the perspective of Australian culture.