Still in my mind: Gurindji location, experience and visuality

‘that land… I still got it on my mind.’ – Vincent Lingiari

‘Still in my mind: Gurindji location, experience and visuality’ looks at the birth of Australia’s national land rights movement, exploring notions of identity, home, community and Country connected to the Gurindji Walk-Off.

In 1966, Gurindji tribal elder Vincent Lingiari led a landmark event that inspired national change. Two hundred Aboriginal stockmen were refused proper pay and decent working conditions at the Wave Hill cattle station located on traditional Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory. Vincent Lingiari led them in an industrial strike that became a seven-year act of self-determination; shifting to a more fundamental request – that traditional Gurindji lands be returned.

Curated by Gurindji/Malngin/Mudburra artist/curator and participating artist Brenda L Croft, in collaboration with the Kalkaringi community, ‘Still in my mind’ shines a spotlight on this important chapter of history. Telling the story of strength and resilience from diverse, yet interlinked, Indigenous perspectives through photographs, a multi-channel video installation, newly commissioned history paintings, contemporary and historical prints and drawings, textiles and found objects, digital platforms and archives.

Brenda L Croft, Self–portrait on country (Wave Hill), 24 June 2014, 2014, inkjet print on archival paper. Courtesy the artist, Stills Gallery, Sydney and Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

The exhibition has three major components;

An experimental work by Croft comprising an immersive video installation, incorporating photo-media and sound, alongside prints and
installations of found objects, centre on the act of walking the ‘Gurindji Walk-Off’ track and other sites associated with Croft’s father’s journey as a member of the Stolen Generations; challenging the context of a single geographical location denoting ‘home’.

New work from Karungkarni artists, including significant Gurindji history works on canvas, created during site visits and artists’ camps as
well as textiles, prints and carvings, and significant materials from private and public archives from the early 20th century to the present, comprising historical still and moving images, oral recordings and repatriated cultural material and objects.

Artists include Croft, Jimmy Wavehill Ngawanyja Japalyi, Michael George ‘Nutwood’ Tulngayarri Japalyi, Pauline Ryan Kilngarri Namija, Leah Leaman Yinpingali Namija, Ena Oscar Majapula Nanaku, Violet Wadrill Nanaku, Sarah Oscar Yanyjingali Nanaku, Connie Mosquito Ngarmeiye Nangala, Biddy Wavehill Yamawurr Nangala, Serena Donald Narrpingali Nimarra, and Rachael Morris Namitja.

Violet Wadrill Nanaku, Humpy house, Jinparrak, 2013, screenprint. Courtesy the artist and Karungkarni Art and Cultural Aboriginal Corporation, Northern Territory

Developed in partnership between UNSW Galleries, UQ Art Museum and Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation, since 2018, ‘Still on my mind’ has toured Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. Next stop, Blue Mountains Cultural Centre in New South Wales from 11 July to 23 August 2020 with Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory scheduled for 2021.