About the exhibition
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. Honouring last year’s 50th anniversary, curator and participating artist Brenda L. Croft has developed this exhibition through long-standing, practice-led research with her patrilineal community with the assistance of Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation. Lingiari’s statement is the exhibition’s touchstone, the story reviewed from diverse, yet interlinked Indigenous perspectives.
Still in my Mind incorporates photographs, an experimental video installation, newly commissioned history paintings, contemporary and historical prints and drawings, textiles and found objects, digital platforms and archives, in a richly diverse exhibition that reveals the way Gurindji community members maintain cultural practices and kinship connections to keep this history present.
About the artists
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 University of New South Wales, 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.
Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation is a recently incorporated art centre developed in response to the request from the Kalkaringi/Daguragu community. Karungkarni exists primarily to strengthen and pass on the artistic and cultural knowledge of the Gurindji people, and to support the production and sale of artwork by the local artists, and as such, is the focal point for cultural, heritage and language activities. In 2016, Karungkarni coordinated the art, heritage and cultural program for the 50th Anniversary Freedom Day commemorative event, and initiated its language centre, Gurindji Jarrakap.
Involved in Still in my Mind are a number of artists associated with the art centre. These include senior artists Violet Nanaku Wadrill, Jimmy and Biddy Wavehill, Connie Ngarmeiye, Theresa Yibwoin, Pauline Ryan, Ena and Sarah Oscar, Michael George and younger artists Serena Donald, Leah Leaman and Dylan Miller.
This is an Artback NT touring exhibition developed in partnership between Brenda L. Croft, Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation, UNSW Galleries, UNSW Art & Design, UQ Art Museum, with support from the Australian Research Council Discovery Indigenous Award, and Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, UQ.