Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

MAGNA winners announced @ AMaGA conf

The Australian Museum’s Unsettled exhibition, the national MAGNA award winner.

MAGNA 2022 Winners List, Australian Museums and Galleries Association, 17 June 2022

Congratulations to the winners of the 2022 Museums Australasia Multimedia and Publication Design Awards. View the full shortlist here.

The Awards were presented on 17 June at an Awards Breakfast as part of the AMaGA National Conference in Boorloo Perth.

Entry levels

Level 1: Project budget less than $20,000
Level 2: Project budget $20,000 – $150,000
Level 3: Project budget $150,000 – $500,000
Level 4: Project budget more than $500,000

Thank you

The MAGNAs are generously sponsored by Panasonic.

National winner

Unsettled    
Australian Museum


Interpretation or Learning Initiative

LEVEL 2

HIGHLY COMMENDED

A Conspicuous Object : The Maitland Hospital 
Maitland Regional Art Gallery
The judges said: An innovative and powerful way to interpret the history of a hospital through art. The exhibition serves as both interpreter and collector of memory. Using broad community input to drive the project the gallery turns what could have been a dry display about hospital history into a beautiful experience of art and creativity. The collection of community stories serves an important archival goal, and the website, social media, interviews and art and object displays provide multiple avenues for enjoyment.

Community and Enterprise Programs at WA Museum Boola Bardip  
WA Museum

WINNER

Learning Programs at WA Museum Boola Bardip    
WA Museum

The judges said: A highly inclusive, well researched and interesting suite of education programs. This complete redevelopment of the museum’s education offerings shows a strong commitment to community-led consultation and development.

LEVEL 3

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Wreck Seeker    
Australian National Maritime Museum
The judges said: Very attractive game with appealing features to attract middle years students and expand their understandings of undersea wrecks (not just ships), the people and their stories. That students could create their own exhibition was great. 

WINNER

WARWAR: The Art of Torres Strait
Newcastle Art Gallery

The judges said: The project met educational and museum industry benchmarks, particularly around inclusivity and contribution to the Indigenous Roadmap. This project will lead to long-term relationships that strengthen both organisation and community.


Research

LEVEL 2

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Sense and Sensitivity: Neurodiversity and Creativity    
John Curtin Gallery
The judges said: An excellent project building upon existing research and documentation on accessibility in the Arts and Culture sector. The project outlines contribute to the data and practical guidelines available to museums and galleries to provide accessible and engaging exhibitions to all visitors.

WINNER

The Invisible Revealed    
The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

The judges said: Fantastic innovative concept incorporating the rigorous scientific method and the historical and artistic development of cultural objects. The use of peer-reviewed merit process is to be commended. The focus on cultural engagement and consent with First Nations Australians and other key cultural stakeholders displays a commitment to contemporary museological, scientific and research ethics,


Indigenous Project

LEVEL A

WINNER

REFLECT – the light and shade of a long story  
MOD.

The judges said: This beautifully expressed exhibition presents a creative and innovative way to explore First Nations intangible cultural heritage and Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being in curatorial practice. It demonstrates the ability to present other forms of cultural expression and engagement beyond the physical showcasing of objects. The exhibition thoughtfully prompts visitors to think further about how they view and interact with Country, especially within urbanised areas such as the place now known as Adelaide, South Australia. Led by First Nations voices and ways of Being and Knowing, audiences become intimately connected with Kaurna Yerta and Karawirra Pari from local Aboriginal perspectives and cultural lenses. Collaborating with the highly regarded Unbound Collective, with their strong background in thought-provoking artistic engagements informed by truth telling, the exhibition is successful in connecting visitors to local Country and firmly situates the landmarks in the vicinity of MOD. The following of cultural protocol and embedding ICIP in practice throughout the exhibition development process is inspiring for other cultural institutions. Well done!

LEVEL 3

WINNER

WARWAR: The Art of Torres Strait    
Newcastle Art Gallery

The judges said: This is a landmark exhibition, giving a rare opportunity to learn about the Torres Strait in south-eastern Australia. Being led by Torres Strait Islander specialist curators and cultural advisors presented a great curatorial model that other cultural institutions across the regions can be inspired by. The inclusion and focus on local, Newcastle-born and residing Torres Strait Islander community was a great decision; providing an important contextual connection between where the gallery itself is situated and the subject matter (which is a considerable geographical distance from Newcastle). The inclusion of local Awabakal Traditional Owners in exhibition events demonstrates respect for cultural protocol. Audiences were presented with trilingual engagement with the subject matter, showing a great depth of consideration towards the diversity of language and culture in the Torres Strait. The gallery pivoted well towards virtual offerings during a difficult period with the effects of the pandemic impacting on the physical exhibition and community participation.


Permanent Exhibition or Gallery Fitout

LEVEL 2

HIGHLY COMMENDED

HOTA Collects    
HOTA Home of the Arts
The judges said: The hyper-local focus is well integrated with exhibition spaces and complemented by a broader curatorial exploration of Australian art from local to national. Production and technical values are very high, and the space is aesthetically approachable. Artworks are allowed to stand on their own through a simple style and approach to interpretation.

WINNER

Kurru Kari (Turning Circle)    
MOD.

The judges said: An innovative, accessible and powerful multimedia interactive. Kurru Kari (Turning Circle) is a beautiful and evocative installation which beautifully connects visitors with Indigenous Knowledge via engaging and immersive technology. The imagery is beautiful and locally-relevant, and the subject of seasons is a capacious and accessible framework to explore broader and more specific ideas about science, culture, and history. Overall this seems to be a powerful and foundational aspect of the MOD offer and visitor experience. The exhibition design and installation articulates access, particularly for disabled visitors, thoroughly and thoughtfully.

LEVEL 3

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Rocks Discovery Museum Refresh 
Rocks Discovery Museum
The judges said: It is good to note the incorporation of First Peoples’ knowledge and stories throughout the experience, not only new or separate sections – and the presentation of a specific exploration of women’s experiences is great to see. The inbuilt evaluation system is comprehensive and should be commended.

LEVEL 4

HIGHLY COMMENDED

The “March of the Titanosaurs” exhibition: Relocating, preserving and exhibiting the Snake Creek tracksite  
Australian Age of Dinosaurs
The judges said:  The trackway is beautifully housed in an architecturally fitting building, giving a positive overall visitor experience. This is an example of a powerful tourism and educational experience. The project meets museological, scientific and tourism benchmarks. The new site and installation of The March of the Titanosaurs is spectacular, and clearly offers visitors a thrilling experience of prehistoric life in the area. This was a mammoth project in every sense, reflected in the substantial project budget. The outdoor sculptures are engaging, informative, and aesthetically sensitive to the location – a classy installation that is still fun and playful. 

WINNER

Ancient Landscapes Gallery    
Dubbo Regional Council – Wellington Caves
with Thylacine Design

The judges said: Well considered approach to effective use of resources to achieve the most successful, meaningful and accessible outcome. Excellent and ethical engagement with Wiradjuri community and the scientific and research community, all of whom are all custodians of various facets of knowledge regarding the caves and their history. The prioritisation of cultural safety, recognition of IP rights and remuneration of contributors demonstrates a benchmark on community engagement and respect. This exhibition cleverly combines traditional museum displays with current immersive technologies, offering both a broad view of the vast timescale and complex subject, as well as accessible and engaging snapshots which allow a visitor to form a layered understanding. The experience of being guided through the space by the Wiradjuri, experts on their own Country, and by paleontologists offers visitors a rich encounter science, history, an ever changing environment and the adaptability of the First People who live within and care for Country.


Temporary or Travelling Exhibition

LEVEL 1

WINNER

Number Please!
Wireless Hill Museum
with Creative Spaces

The judges said: This exhibition shows a great deal of creativity and resourcefulness for such a modest budget.  A good deal of thought has been given to the aesthetics and ensuring that the exhibition can spark nostalgia in its visitors.

LEVEL 2

HIGHLY COMMENDED

The Castanet Club – an exhibition you can dance to!    
Newcastle Museum
The judges said: An innovative and fun exhibition, playing on the creative heart of Newcastle.The public programming during lock down is excellent, what a great way of tying into your community and supporting them when they need it.

WINNERS

SOUL fury  
Bendigo Art Gallery

The judges said: An important exhibition emerging from the gallery’s social responsibility. Led by Muslim co-curator and featuring a genuine diversity of Muslim women’s experiences. On this type of budget, it is a wonderful achievement. Very high production quality.

Shadow Boxer  
Maitland Regional Art Gallery

The judges said: A fantastic delivery of a surprising meeting between art and sport. Looks like there was really high quality production and they worked closely, collaboratively, and respectfully with a variety of First Nations artists who had different insights into boxing. An interesting project for Maitland that was able to tie to the region’s history and local government projects. Some good public programming with broad reaching appeal.

LEVEL 3

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Light & Darkness 
Chau Chak Wing Museum
The judges said: An important and thoroughly researched display of historical modern/contemporary art. Great work with object-based learning and working with university community

Walking with Colour  
Western Australian Museum
The judges said: The presentation of entirely 2D content was quite innovative, creating immersive projection mapping spaces. It was definitely a successful presentation of the cinematic beauty of WA.  That they thoroughly considered touring regionally and produced the exhibition so this is easily done is commendable.

WINNER

WARWAR: The Art of Torres Strait    
Newcastle Art Gallery

The judges said: This project was approached with collaboration in mind, and as such has been successful at forming key relationships with the community. Really great to see this project lead by the decisions of Torres Strait Islanders. Brian Robinson’s curatorial approach looks like he brought in as many TSI artists as he possibly could, an inclusive and festive approach.

LEVEL 4

HIGHLY COMMENDED

INVISIBILITY    
MOD.
The judges said: A really broad theme, tackled from many directions and using many formats. Sounds like it was an excellent demonstration of the power of design.

Brickwrecks: Sunken Ships in LEGO® Bricks    
WA Museum
The judges said: An original approach to attracting families and young people to a maritime history exhibition. The family strategy didn’t stop at Lego either, with the additional pirate-costumed actors and additional technology-boosted displays. High quality production design along with interesting interactive exhibits for a family audience. Well-received by audiences. Well planned to create a turn-key design that can be easily toured.

WINNER and NATIONAL WINNER

Unsettled    
Australian Museum

The judges said: The curators of this exhibition are to be very highly commended for seeing opportunity and going for it. Changes in the museum’s structure, led by the brand new role of First Nations Director and above, provided ground for taking what could have been another exhibition about Cook and shifting the focus 180 degrees to foreground the experiences of past and present First Nations people in so-called Australia. They were especially innovative in their community consultation, which was early and wide-spread, and the genuine accommodation of feedback. This project sets the new standard for First Nations representation and participation in exhibitions. A powerful and important exhibition from the Australian Museum.

See also: Australian Museum’s Unsettled exhibition wins prestigious national awards

Council of Australasian Museum Directors c/o Mr Brian Oldman, South Australian Museum PO Box 234 Adelaide, South Australia 5001 Australia, © CAMD 2022
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