Gathered together

Indigenous art from the CMAG collection

Sat 15 June - Sun 15 September

The art in this exhibition has been made by Indigenous Australian artists: residents of the Canberra region; people with a strong historical relationship to the city; and a number of important artists from around Australia who had a working relationship with one of Canberra's most important professional art workshops, Studio One.

Matilda House, a senior Ngambri/Wolgarlo woman, is represented by a work that emphasises the ongoing survival of her people in their country, while the prints of Kevin Gilbert, a pioneering Aboriginal activist, writer, artist and founder in 1972 of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra, emphasise the violent outcomes of cultural dispossession.

Prints and sculptures by Danie Mellor, Jenni Kemarre Martiniello and Lyndy Delian, all of whom have long associations with Canberra, variously employ the mediums of glass, earthenware, mezzotint, and taxidermied birds to interpret and present their Indigenous heritage in startling and original forms.

The Canberra Museum and Gallery is home to an important archive of prints produced at Studio One, an independent printmaking workshop that operated in Kingston for eighteen years from 1983, which includes a large number of works by Indigenous artists. In the 1990s, driven by master printmakers Basil Hall and Theo Tremblay, the workshop developed a strong reputation for its collaborations with artists from the Kimberley to the Torres Straits and urban Australia, including Emily Kam Kngwarrey, Rover Thomas, Jack Britten, Treahna Hamm, Abie Jangala, Ian Abdulla, Dennis Nona, Arone Meeks, Gordon Hookey and Judy Watson. In the translation of traditional Indigenous cultural forms into etchings, lithographs, linocuts and screenprints, these striking works represent an ambitious and innovative development in Australian visual culture.

Gathered together is a celebration of the rich visual traditions of Australia's first peoples, here in the nation's capital, which is home to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy and the place where, in 1992, the High Court rejected the doctrine of terra nullius in the case of Mabo v Queensland and recognised native title in Australia for the first time.

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