Ngaya (I am)

‘A cut-and-paste, punked-up look at my Country’ is how Peter Waples-Crowe describes his five-minute video installation Ngaya (I am), a self-portrait of the artist as a queer Ngarigo person from the Snowy Mountains region of south-eastern NSW.

Mixing images of people and landscape with song and dance – and humour – this compelling video installation explores the multiple identities of Waples-Crowe, who was adopted and raised in the Illawarra region on the NSW South Coast and later reconnected with his Ngarigo heritage. The work reinstates the artist in the landscape from which he was removed. More broadly, it asserts the ongoing presence of the Ngarigo people in the land that still holds their stories despite pervasive Western imagery that would deny their existence, language and connection to Country.

On display at the Museum of Sydney, Ngaya (I am) is accompanied by historical photographs of the Snowy Mountains region held in the State Archives Collection.

School holiday activities: During the school holidays, visit the Museum of Sydney for a range of thought provoking and fun activities suitable for the whole family. Try your hand at collage making in a series of drop-in workshops inspired by the theme of identity, led by The Sydney Collage Society.

FREE, no bookings required. Materials supplied, suitable for all ages.

Activities will run on the following dates: 16–19 and 23–24 April, 10am–2pm

About the artist

Peter Waples-Crowe is a multidisciplinary artist who reconnected with his Ngarigo (Snowy mountains) heritage after growing up in the Illawarra as an adopted child. This work explores the intersection of an Indigenous Queer identity, spirituality and Australia’s ongoing colonisation. Ngaya (I am) is a continuation of his auto-ethnographic practice, referencing multiple and contested identities and disparate ideas and themes largely based on personal experiences.

Ngaya (I am)
Past event

In conversation with Peter Waples-Crowe and Rhian Hinkley

In conversation with Peter Waples-Crowe and Rhian Hinkley, led by MHNSW First Nations Curator Tess Allas

Ngaya (I am)

Peter Waples-Crowe on Ngaya (I am)

Watch the interview with artist Peter Waples-Crowe, courtesy of ACMI (2023)

Corner Phillip and Bridge streets, Sydney NSW 2000. Phone +61 2 9251 5988

Museum of Sydney

Corner Phillip and Bridge streets, Sydney NSW 2000. Phone +61 2 9251 5988
  • Cafe
  • Wheelchair accessible
Plan your visit

  • 16 March – 25 August 2024

Cast in cast out, Denis Golding, 2020, epoxy resin, iron oxides, concrete, acrylic, edition etching rag
Now showing
Featured display

Cast in cast out

An evocative artwork by Sydney-based Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay artist Dennis Golding

The first three decades (decade 3), Coomaditchie artists and community members, 2022, acrylic on unstretched canvas, 302cm x 213.5 cm. 
Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation
Now showing
Featured exhibition

Coomaditchie: The Art of Place

Experience community life by the ocean through the works of First Nations artists in Coomaditchie: The Art of Place at the Museum of Sydney. These loving and lyrical artworks, which include paintings, ceramics and screen-prints, speak of life in and around the settlement of Coomaditchie, its history, ecology and local Dreaming stories