Territory Stories

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Arts backbone


Association of the Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists


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Association of The Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists; Arnhem, Northern and Kimberley Artists Aboriginal Corporation; Art, Australian; Aboriginal Australians; Aboriginal Artists; Periodicals

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Association of the Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists

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Arts backbone


volume 14 issue 1, August 2014

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Association of the Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists



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Sonia Kurarra, Martuwarra, atelier acrylic paint on linen, 2013 Photo: Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency Aboriginal Corporation Flow of Voices (In 2 parts) at The Cross Art Projects, Sydney Includes works by Jacky Green, Stewart Hoosan and Nancy McDinney By Jacky Green with introduction by Jo Holder, founder and director, The Cross Art Projects Martuwarra: A Sonia Kurarra Solo Exhibition ReDot Gallery, Singapore, 2014 By Sonia Kurarra, artist, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency Aboriginal Corporation Martuwarra is my river country. This painting is all about the Fitzroy River which flows down through Nookanbah where I live. All kinds of fish live in the water, we catch big mob of fish here. I like Parlka (Barramundi). We catch Catfish and Brim here too. Nganku (Shark), Wirritunany (Swordfish) and Stingray also live here. These fish live in these waters long after the flood has gone. Also this painting is about Barramundi swimming on the surface of the water, you can also see the wakiri (pandanus tree) and rocks all around. When the Barramundi get tired they go back into the rock holes. These rock holes hold all the Parlka (Barramundi) that live in the river. Kalputu (water snakes) also live in these rock holes and swim all around the palma (creeks) and all around the wakiri that grow in the river. Jacky Green, Map of Borroloola Our Land and things going on over the top of it, acrylic on linen, 2013 Photo: Silversalt Photography Produced by Waralungku Arts and The Cross Art Projects, Flow of Voices refers to the landscape of the mighty McArthur River system and to the voices of the traditional owners and managers raised in defense of their culture and lands. Flow of Voices is a case study exhibition and writing project on contemporary art, post-colonial relations and mining in Australia's remote Gulf Country, and its tiny central town of Borroloola. Two exhibitions were staged at The Cross Arts Projects in Sydney between April and June 2014, covering the shift from Good to Bad through paintings and text; recounting the Indigenous experience of the frontier days: lawless massacres, resistance and displacement, through to the present day, arguing for proper monitoring, consultation and reparation in exchange for resource extraction and damage by mining corporations. Jacky Greens work: Map of Borroloola Our Land and things going on over the top of it, was part of Part One, accompanied by the artists statement: This painting is a little bit like a map of the country around Borroloola, a town in the southwest Gulf of Carpentaria where us Gudanji, Garrwa, Mara and Yanyuwa people have been yarded-up like cattle by the government. When whitefellas look at the painting they can only see the things that they recognise, things from their world, the roads, houses, showground and airport. But there are so many more things in the country that they cant see. They are all the sacred sites that we live amongst. The sacred places bind us with the country. Government keeps talking about expanding the town, but they gotta talk with us. They gotta learn whats in the country. They cant just put things on top of our sacred sites like the mining companies do. We feel our culture is starting to get pushed aside. Its not being recognised properly. Borroloola is our place and our land. Whitefellas gotta learn about country, how to take care of it proper way. To do this they gotta work with us. 8 Arts BackBone eXHIBITIonS Volume 14: Issue 1, August 2014 Volume 14: Issue 1, August 2014 eXHIBITIonS Arts BackBone 9