Remembering Wave Hill


Gurindji men at Wattie Creek, 1967

Gurindji men at Wattie Creek, 1967

A pivotal moment in Australia’s social and political history resonates through the Charles Darwin University (CDU) Art Gallery’s latest exhibition, which opens to the public on 1 November.

“Still in my mind: Gurindji location, experience and visuality” is an exhibition that considers the ongoing impact of the 1966 “Wave Hill Walk-off”, an event that saw 200 Aboriginal stockmen, station workers, and their families follow the lead of Gurindji elder Vincent Lingiari and strike in protest over poor wages and conditions.

Curated by Gurindji descendant and participating artist Brenda Croft, the exhibition features a range of media including photographs, digital platforms and archives, Gurindji history paintings, and an experimental video installation.

Ms Croft, who is Associate Professor of Indigenous Art History and Curatorship at the Australian National University, said CDU was the second venue to stage the exhibition, which is on a national tour.

“The exhibition is an outcome of my doctoral research over the past seven years,” Ms Croft said.

“The subject of the exhibition marks a significant moment in the history of Indigenous activism in Australia that paved the way for a number of important events that contributed to greater recognition and empowerment.

“For me, Darwin is the key venue on the national tour because I have close family connections there.”

An exhibition catalogue and other associated books on Gurindji history and culture will also be available for purchase, including the newly-published Songs from the Stations, which tells an astonishing story about the long distances that songs - called Wajarra - travelled.

On Thursday, 1 November, at noon, members of the public are invited to join Ms Croft in conversation with Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation artists, as they give a guided floor-talk of the exhibition at the gallery.

At noon on Friday, 2 November, Ms Croft will host a panel discussion titled: “Practice-led Research and Collaboration: how does it work, who is involved, what are the benefits and for whom?” This discussion will centre on inter- and intra-cultural collaboration, which is a representational keystone of the exhibition.

The CDU Art Gallery is open Wednesday to Friday 10am-4pm, and Saturday 10am-2pm, and is located on the ground floor of Building Orange 12, University Drive South, Casuarina campus.
The exhibition runs until 16 February 2019.

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