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  • Alice Pepper Alice Pepper (Gunnai, Gunditjmara, Yorta Yorta, Mutti Mutti, Arrernte), Songlines of the Bogong Moth
  • Alice Pepper Alice Pepper (Gunnai, Gunditjmara, Yorta Yorta, Mutti Mutti, Arrernte), Songlines of the Bogong Moth

Alice Pepper (Gunnai, Gunditjmara, Yorta Yorta, Mutti Mutti, Arrernte), Songlines of the Bogong Moth

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photography, digital print on paper, 2023


The Bogong Moth has a significant connection to Gunnai/Kurnai people and our Country especially the high country. Bogong moth in the colder seasons would migrate from as far as 3000km to caves in the Alpine slopes. Traditionally in the colder seasons our ancestors would travel from many directions for gatherings, bringing many clans together for alliances, ceremony and food sources. The Bogong is very high in protein and a good diet for not only our people but the pigmy possum and their young. Our ancestors also used the fur of the pigmy to make cloaks to keep warm during the winter. The Bogong is one of many animals that connect our Songlines on our Country. This knowledge has been passed down to us orally for thousands of years by our ancestors.

Recent Archeological research on Gunnai/Kurnai Country Cloggs cave discovered microscopic remains of the Bogong moth found in the cave on a grinding stone believed to be 2000+ years old. Our ancestors had this knowledge of our stories and our cultural practices and have passed down to us for generations over thousands of years.

Image 1: The Bogong gathered in the caves in the high country of the Gunnai/Kurnai people Image 2: is a self portrait of healing and art imitating and expressing what it must have been like for our ancestors gathering high up in the mountains with other clans on our traditional lands wrapped in thier possum skin cloakes practicing thier traditional ways through ceremony on Country. When I think of this it gives me a feeling of peace on my journey of healing through our culture and learning our traditional ways and practices.


Artist Bio:

Living in Lakes Entrance and have family and cultural connections to the Gunnai, Yorta Yorta/Mutti Mutti, Gunditjmarra and Arrernte peoples. A Proud Koorie woman and active community member across Gippsland. Passionate about the arts and cultural expression through local stories, songs, language and dance that connects me to Country. I experiment with a few different mediums Painting, Digital, Photography, Possum Skins, Weaving and Dance. I am always learning from Country and practicing the skills and knowledge that has been passed onto me by my Elders and cultural specialists over the years which I express through my artwork.

Evolving artist over the past 22 years. 2017 first prize in the Gippsland Koorie art exhibition “from the mountains to the sea” for my possum skin burning raising awareness of the decline in pigmy possums in the high country which is now part of permenant collection of Sale Art Gallery. In 2020 I was contracted to design the Melbourne Vixens Indigenous Round dress which told the story and experience the communities across Gippsland had during the devastating bushfires. 2021 started my own earring line Woorring Naynulls by Alice Pepper traditional weaved earrings with raffia in assorted colours and designs. In 2022 I designed the branding for Melbourne waters reconciliation agreement with GunaiKurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation. 2022 cultural curator for the Under the Surface project engaging Aboriginal and Non Aboriginal artists teaming up across East Gippsland Rail Trail creating art in public spaces. My project was also to paint a mural in the Nowa Nowa Tunnel in collaboration with street artist David Meggs. The stories of the artworks were recorded and told through podcasts and listened to on mobile phone at each location by scanning QR Code. 2023 I was contracted to design rebranding artwork for Gippsland Waters corporate apparrel and wrapping of 2 water towers. Designed logos for 2 Koorie Sports Incorporations across Gippsland and Indigenous Round footy/netball jumpers and dresses for Local Clubs Lakes Entrance, Lindenow South and Lucknow.

I currently work at GLaWAC as the Arts & events Manager where I co-ordinate and plan large community events and gatherings. I also have been a part of co-designing the new amphitheater that is under construction. I curate the gallery at our lakes entrance base and have also designed the journey wall which is a 12 metre long history wall and is a key piece that sits central in the gallery.