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Floor Talk | Still in my mind: Gurindji location, experience and visuality

Published on Wednesday, 15 January 2020 at 1:28:17 PM

Join us for this Floor Talk by special guests curator Brenda L. Croft and respected Kalkaringi elder Maurie Ryan.
Still in my mind: Gurindji location, experience and visuality is curated by renowned Indigenous artist, curator and researcher Brenda L Croft in collaboration with the Kalkaringi community.
Inspired by the words of revered Indigenous leader Vincent Lingiari, ‘that land … I still got it in my mind’, this exhibition considers the ongoing impact of the Gurindji Walk-Off, a seminal event in Australian history that continues to resonate powerfully today. The Walk-Off, a nine-year act of self-determination that began in 1966 and sparked the national land rights movement, was led by Lingiari and ngumpit (Aboriginal people) working at Wave Hill Station (Jinparrak) in the Northern Territory.
Still in my mind is on show at the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery 1 February – 7 March 2020.
Brenda L. Croft
Brenda L. Croft is from the Gurindji/Malngin/Mudpurra peoples of the NT and Anglo Australian/German/Irish heritage. She has been involved in the contemporary arts and cultural sectors for three decades as an artist, curator, educator and researcher at regional, national and international levels. Croft has worked closely with her paternal community since 1991 and specifically with Karungkarni Art and Culture since 2011 when she project managed the 45th anniversary of the Gurindji Walk-Off. Since 2012 she has been working in partnership with Karungkarni on the development of this project, as part of her doctoral research with the NIEA, UNSW Art & Design, undertaking community-based field trips, artists’ camps, site visits and conducting extensive interviews with Gurindji community members. Her multi-disciplinary arts practice has informed the realisation of the exhibition, incorporating the mediums of video installation, sound, photo media, etchings and found objects.
Maurie Ryan
Maurie Ryan Japarta was born at Jinparrak (Old/2nd Wave Hill Station) under the traditional birthing tree. He was forcibly removed from his family, community and country, at Victoria River near Kalkaringi, at three and half years of age. This occurred as part of the government policy of the times and he was taken to Darwin, then sent to Croker Hill Mission where he lived for five years before being sent to an orphanage in Adelaide. Here he lived with a caring foster family before joining the Australian Army when he turned 18, with the hope of being able to find his biological parents. He never met his father but as an adult Maurie was reunited with his mother, Mary, and four sisters at Kalkaringi. Until the reunion he was assumed to have died. After leaving the Army Maurie trained as a teacher and taught at Kormilda College, Darwin for many years and also commenced a law degree at University of NSW and the study of western laws and their impacts on First Nations’ peoples is a passion. A lifelong First Nations rights activist Maurie’s numerous roles have included Chairman of the Kalkaringi Education Council School, Kalkaringi Community Council, Chairman of the Central Land Council, and Deputy Chair of the NT Stolen Generations Aboriginal Corporation. He also established the First Nations Political Party. Following in the footsteps of Gurindji/Malngin leader Vincent Lingiari, who with other Elders, led his people on the Gurindji Walk-Off from Wave Hill Station on 23 August, 1966, Maurie is considered a respected elder and community leader.
Presented by:
Artback NT in association with Visions of Australia, UNSW Galleries, UQ Art Museum, UQ and Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation, with support from Australian Research Council Discovery Indigenous Award, National Institute for Experimental Arts, and ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language.
Title Image:
Brenda L. Croft, Self-portraits on country, Wave Hill, 2014 (installation detail), pigment print on archival paper, 42 x 59.5 cm. Courtesy the artist and Niagara Galleries, Melbourne.

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