News and events

YOU HERE HERE: an exhibition by Therese Ritchie catalogue launch

Image: Therese Ritchie, <i>The curse</i>, 2021, digital ink-jet print on paper, Charles Darwin University Art Collection; CDU 3406

To be launched by Ursula Raymond and Dr Wendy Ludwig
Thursday 1 December 2022, 5.30pm
CDU Art Gallery (Chancellery; building orange 12), Casuarina campus

YOU ARE HERE interprets Australia’s national history since 1770 and incorporates evocative imagery, much of which is appropriated from familiar historical paintings of Australian landscapes and events documenting European colonisation of Australia. These images are overlaid with text and timelines that record a litany of misdemeanours, atrocities, discoveries, manoeuvres, and ploys leading to a culminating moment in Australia’s history. YOU ARE HERE prompts dialogue, debate and reflection about truth-telling, care for Country, the implications of mining, and issues of First Nation’s sovereignty. 

For more information, see the YOU ARE HERE: an exhibition by Therese Ritchie page here.

Download the invitation to the launch here.

Found objects, grounded: collaborative creative-led research and the Gurindji Walk-Off from Jinparrak (2nd Wave Hill Station)

Brenda Croft artist

Tuesday 8 November, 2022 
CDU Art Gallery 
12.30pm-1.15pm; refreshments will be served following the talk

Brenda L Croft discusses the making of Jinparrak (floor installation) and Jinparrak 1 – 5 (limited edition prints), 2015, for the exhibition Still in my mind: Gurindji location, experience and visuality, 2017, touring nationally until December 2022.

Brenda L Croft is from the Gurindji/Malngin/Mudburra peoples from the Victoria River region of the Northern Territory of Australia, and Anglo-Australian/German/Irish/Chinese heritage. She has been at the forefront of the Australian First Nations and broader contemporary arts and cultural sectors as a multi-disciplinary creative practitioner - artist, arts administrator, consultant, curator, educator and researcher - since the mid-1980s. 

Brenda’s trans-disciplinary creative practice encompasses critical performative First Nations Auto-ethnography, First Nations storywork and historiography, cultural reclamation and re/presentation. Brenda usually lives and works on unceded, sovereign Ngambri/Ngunawal/Ngunnawal Country (Canberra/ACT) where she works as Professor of Indigenous Art History and Curatorship at the Centre for Art History and Art Theory, School of Art and Design, College of Arts & Social Sciences, Australian National University. She is currently living and working on unceded, sovereign Larrakia Country at the ANU NARU (North Australian Research Unit) at CDU, undertaking Outside Study Program research, for which she is very grateful. 

long water: fibre stories floor-talk by Curator, Freja Carmichael

Thursday 24 March, 11am-12noon
CDU Art Gallery
Photo by Simon Woods courtesy of the University of Queensland Art Museum.
RSVP essential:

Join Freja Carmichael at a floor-talk about of the history and development of the works presented in the long water; fibre stories exhibition. She will discuss three exhibition themes:

  • deep connections: how the featured works are tactile representations of spiritual entities - intangible connections between culture, people and water.
  • weaving memoryfibre forms and techniques that have emerged from places of water to become material manifestations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge that has been embodied, practiced, and shared by thousands of generations
  • flow and change: creative strength and adaptability of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Freja Carmichael is a Ngugi woman belonging to the Quandamooka people of Moreton Bay. She is a curator, arts worker and writer and is currently undertaking a PhD with the University of Queensland. 

Floor-talk by Christian Clare Robertson, artist and former art lecturer at CDU 

Saturday 5th February, 10.30-11.30am
CDU Art Gallery
RSVP essential:

Christian Clare Robertson (b. 1946 -)<br><b><i>Rafting sea-ice, 1990</b></i><br>Pastel on Canson paper<br>Charles Darwin University Art Collection, CDU1804<br>Gift of the artist, 1990

We require that social distancing be practiced and masks are worn by audience members. CDU policy requires proof of double vaccination on campus upon arrival. 

Christian Clare Robertson will discuss drawings featured in the exhibition DRAWN from the CDU Art Collection on display at CDU Art Gallery, many which were acquired in the 1980s, during the formative years of the university’s collection. She will consider the artworks on display, as well as reflect upon the rationale and history of their acquisition by the University.

Clare worked in the Department of Fine Art at CDU (and its predecessors; Darwin Community College, Darwin Institute of Technology and Northern Territory University) from 1977 until 1997, teaching painting and drawing. As a graduate of the South Australian School of Art and with experience as an assistant curator in the Prints and Drawings Collection at the Art Gallery of South Australia and as a lecturer at tertiary art schools in Melbourne, Clare arrived in Darwin in 1977.  She recalls:

In the early 1980's it was decided to establish a CDU Art Collection. I was on the initial committee. My background allowed me to provide advice regarding possible purchases. I also had relevant experience in the handling and display of the artworks. Informally, I became the first curator of the collection. This was in addition to my full-time teaching load and was enjoyable but somewhat time consuming. I was also painting, and I had a young family. It was a busy time.

As a practicing artist, Clare will also discuss as series of her pastel ‘colour-rough’ drawings that are displayed in DRAWN from the CDU Art Collection. These drawings were created in 1988-89 during an Artist-in-Residence for the Australian Antarctic Division in Antarctica. They informed Clare’s subsequent Antarctica exhibition, which opened in Parliament House, Canberra, in 1991. The exhibition toured to other venues, including the Museum and art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) in Darwin and Araluen Arts Centre in Alice Springs. A major retrospective exhibition of Clare’s art, Extreme Landforms was held at MAGNT in 1997-98, which included her Antarctica paintings, based on the series pastels now held in the CDU Art Collection.

Truth-telling and the limits of legal systems

Lecture: Truth-telling in relation to the youth detention by Professor Thalia Anthony,

followed by Artist's talk: I See Red by Lee Harrop

Friday 6 August 2021
10.30am - 12noon
Location: CDU Art Gallery
RSVP to if you would like to attend in person or require a Zoom link
Download information HERE

Professor Thalia Antony   

The 2016-17 Royal Commission into the Detention and Protection of Young People in the Northern Territory promised to be a watershed moment for truth-telling in relation to the youth detention system and affiliated carceral regimes. There was hope that the systems and individuals responsible for torture inflicted on young people in detention – including the use of spit hoods, tear gas, physical attacks, mechanical restraint chairs and indefinite segregation– would be held to account. This presentation examines how the Royal Commission processes and adversarial stance of the Northern Territory Government limited the scope of truth-telling and precluded justice. The evidence of Aboriginal witnesses that pointed to the need for self-determination of Aboriginal families and communities, and decarceration of Aboriginal children, was overshadowed with a set of narrow recommendations and even more constrained government responses. This presentation argues that truth-telling requires spaces in which Aboriginal people design the process and oversee implementation of recommendations.

Thalia Anthony is a Professor of Law at the University of Technology Sydney; who lives and works on the stolen land of the Gadigal people. Her research focuses on the colonial legacy and
systemic racism in legal and penal institutions, with a focus on the Northern Territory. Her books 
Indigenous People, Crime and Punishment and Decolonising Criminology highlight the harms that flow from state punishment on Aboriginal people. She works with Deadly Connections and Aboriginal Legal Services to further self-determination. Thalia recently campaigned against the draconian bail laws that disproportionately incarcerate Aboriginal kids in the Northern Territory.

Artist’s talk: I See Red by Lee Harrop

Image: Artist’s impression of <i>I see red</i>, Image copyright and courtesy of Lee Harrop.
I See Red was commissioned by the City of Perth, Western Australia as a public artwork in 2015. However, it was decommissioned after permission to install the work was denied by the sitting judges of the Supreme Court of Western Australia. In the process of examining what ultimately led to the decommission, much was revealed about the power of art and how it can be used in the process of truth-telling.

Lee Harrop is a PhD candidate at Charles Darwin University undertaking practice-led research. Harrop’s artwork is wordfocused and context-specific. Her recent artworks offer a representation of mining that can be considered alongside the wider global discourse about mining and its environmental impact.

Ursula Raymond, the Deputy Treaty Commissioner for the NT, will facilitate the Q&A following the lecture and presentation. Ursula Raymond was born and raised in Darwin on Larrakia country and has cultural connections through to Kakadu (NT), Wuthathi (Shelburne Bay in Far North Queensland), and the Torres Strait Islands (particularly Horn Island and Thursday Island). Following a career in media and as a media, policy and political adviser at in Federal and Territory parliaments she joined the Northern Territory Treaty Commission.

See more upcoming public programs HERE.

Important update

Important update

To find out more about upcoming public programs, see the Current exhibitions page

contact tracing at CDU covid

Effective by 30 November 2020, in compliance with the NTG Health announcement for the implementation of contract tracing CDU is implementing a contact tracing check-in system via a QR code in identified areas of the University. 

The CDU Art Gallery has a poster with a QR code on display at the entry point. We encourage CDU Art Gallery visitors to start using the contact tracing check-in system before 30 November when it will be mandatory.

If you are unable to completely check-in via the QR code, you are required to use the paper- based alternative provided by CDU Art Gallery staff. Entry to an area requiring contact tracing will be denied if you refuse to provide contact details or provide incorrect information. 

Customer contact details will be recorded and kept securely for 28 days after which all information will be destroyed using appropriate processes. The privacy of information and records management are in accordance with legislative and government requirements. 

For further information, please visit

Public Program - Bitumen & Dirt Wayne Eager, 30 years in the Territory

Wayne Eager poster

Saturday 24 October at 11am

Join us at the CDU Art Gallery with Alice Springs-based artist Wayne Eager and Acting Curator Kellie Joswig in discussing Eager's survey exhibition 'Bitumen & Dirt - Wayne Eager, 30 years in the Territory'

CDU Media Release - Salon des Refusés 2020

Salon Des Refuses

Salon exhibition to showcase Indigenous artwork

The Charles Darwin University Art Gallery will celebrate five years of hosting The Salon des Refusés exhibition this month, marking the occasion with a tribute to past entries.

The iconic companion event to the prestigious Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA) has grown in prominence since its inception in 2013, and will open on 5 August.

CDU Art Gallery Curator Kellie Joswig said the exhibition, which features art works not selected for NATSIAA, had become a must-see event on the Darwin visual arts calendar.

“The exhibition will be slightly smaller this year due to COVID-19, but we are excited to showcase the enormous talent on offer,” she said. “We have social distancing measures in place and sanitiser on hand for visitors.” 


CDU Media Release - PLACE: Celebrating 10 years at CDU Art Gallery

Place exhibition banner small

PLACE is an exhibition that celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Charles Darwin University Art Gallery and is a celebration of the gallery reopening after a forced COVID-19 closure. 

The exhibition features 40 works acquired by the CDU Art Collection over the past 10 years.

Curator Kellie Joswig said the PLACE exhibition was “delightfully eclectic” and was a testament to artists from Australia and Timor-Leste and their painted, sculptural, ceramic and multi-media works.

Continue reading the media release here.

CDU Art Collection and Art Gallery

Building Orange 12.1.02
Casuarina campus
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Gallery opening hours:
Wed-Fri, 10am-4pm
Sat, 10am

Dr Joanna Barrkman

Eileen Lim
Exhibitions & Collection Officer

T: 08 8946 6621

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