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Still in my mind

“That land... I've still got it in my mind." The immortal words of revered Indigenous leader Vincent Lingiari is the inspiration for the touring exhibition, Still in my mind.

The exhibition, presented by Artback NT and curated by Brenda Croft in collaboration with the Kalkaringi community, reflects on the historic Gurindji Walk-Off with an intricate audio-visual based exhibition.

Croft began this project, part of her creative-led PhD, in 2012.

“I first went to Kalkaringi and Daguragu in 1991 on family history research, two years after my father, Joe, had similarly gone back to undertake family history research,” she says.

Her father was born at Victoria River Downs around 1926, then, along with his mother, Bessie, was taken to Kahlin Compound in Darwin in 1927. 

“He was incarcerated in a number of government homes in the NT until he was sent to boarding school in Queensland in 1940,” she says. 

“We returned to the NT in 1974 to meet my grandmother and he returned regularly on work and to see family. When he died in 1996 my brother Tim and I took his ashes home to Kalkaringi. 

“His funeral service and burial was held the day before the 30th anniversary of the Gurindji Walk-Off event.”

Still in my mind was developed from this combined long-standing family history research spanning more than three decades. 

The exhibition incorporates work from other linked projects from Croft.

“The history paintings in the exhibition by Karungkarni artists were created during a 2014 artists’ camp and site visits during research for the publication Yijarni: true stories from Gurindji country, which was launched at the 50th anniversary of the Gurindji Walk-Off from Wave Hill in 2016,” she says.

The prints in the exhibition by Karungkarni artists were created during the Wave Hill/Megalo Print Studio and Gallery cultural exchange for Canberra’s centenary celebrations in 2013, facilitated by Croft.

Still in my mind will tour nationally in 2021, and Croft hopes to see it travel internationally to share the visual histories with a wider audience.

Until Sun 14 Oct | Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts And Culture Centre | Free| See the event listing

Wed 31 Oct – Sat 16 Feb ‘19 | Charles Darwin University Art Gallery | Free | cdu.edu.au

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