Ancestral spirits 2019. Music/animation: Shirin Shakhesi.

Ancestral spirits

"...This animation is an approach to my extraordinary experience of staying for a week in Yorta Yorta country in northern Victoria to study and acknowledge ancient and contemporary Indigenous arts with Indigenous community.

I believe most of my knowledge on the art history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander society has been only through media and books but I was so honoured to this time to learn from Indigenous people's knowledge themselves and make a closer relationship to this culture and comprehend that Aboriginal culture is a blend of contemporary and traditional belief and practices. Also knowing that Aboriginal art represents the strength of their culture in many ways by increasing the values of traditional knowledge, which forms the very basis of Indigenous art.

This animation is an expression of Indigenous people and their land through Dreamtine or Dreaming which represents the time when the Ancestral Spirits progressed over the land and created life and important physical geographical formations and sites. The Dreaming explains the origin of the universe and workings of nature, animals and humanity which is associate to the most important topic these days according to the climate crisis.

Having a right connection with nature is the most beneficial behaviour for the wellbeing of both humans and the natural world."

Shirin Shakhesi


In 2019 Shirin was a student of Animation at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. The field trip on Yorta Yorta country was conducted by the university's Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development, led by Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung artist and educator Tiriki Onus.

Ocean Dance
Polar connections
Ocean Ancestors
Antarctic krill
Black man White man
Nature's brain
Art as another way of knowing
Patterns we make
East coast Tasmania and Bruny Island
Messages from Trees
Past and present life and death
Ancestral spirits
The ancestors did not disappear
Ephemeral Pedestrian
Our interrelational living system
Nature in the dark


Mind Map