John’s Stories

The exhibition John’s Stories by John Murray is a combination of work based on personal experiences and traditional story telling. A series of on-on-one story telling sessions with Elders of the Girramay and Jirrbal peoples has provided inspiration for this exhibition. The stories, handed down from the wiggy (old people) are steeped in Aboriginal culture and mythology and are significant to Girramay and Jirrbal country. The Elders and family members worked with John to help him learn about and understand traditional stories which he has translated in his very particular pictorial style.
John is a Girramay Traditional Owner and is thirty years of age. John is physically disadvantaged and has found a focused way to communicate with the world through painting and ceramics.
He began his creative journey in 2008 attending workshops at the Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre and very quickly began to express his life experiences through visual representation. John’s bright and naively direct work brings to life the pleasure he takes in fishing, camping and living within a rainforest environment. His work presents visual imagery of camping trips, places he has lived at or visited, the Bathurst car races (which he loves) and more.. John’s Stories was first exhibited in 2010 as part of the KickArts Hatch Program supported by Arts Queensland Industry Initiatives.
His work has been Selected to tour Queensland in 2012, a regional tour will further bolster the John Murray’s confidence and pride, reflecting positively again on Girringun’s supportive role in developing artists’ careers.
Art Work by John Murray 2009John Murray at Murray Falls workshop 2011Canopy Art Exhitibition 2010John Murray with his Map to Kyambul 2011

Jam Factory Djigabina Muddi Muddi

Artists working with the Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre have had another successful exhibition opening at the Jam Factory Contemporary Craft and Design Gallery in Adelaide. The exhibition featured ceramic Bagu uniquely made by Artists Theresa Beeron, George Beeron, Nephi Denham, Nina Andy, Eileen Tap, Sally Murray, Alison Murray, Betty Andy, Daniel Beeron, Debra Murray, Nancy Beeron and Nancy Cowan.
Artists Eileen Tap and Alison Murray travelled down to be apart of the launch in Adelaide.

Merenda Gallery of Fine Arts 2011 Girringun Guni Mara ( a long way from Home)

Small Jawus by Tonya Grant  Bunyaydinya Bagu Artists include Alison Murray, Trish Beeron, Sally & John Murray , Marley Beeron Windy Season By Ninney MurrayJawus made from Recyled Material by Daniel Beeron

The Contemporary art work exhibited in the Merenda Gallery in Fremantle was the first Western Australia experience for the Girringun Artists.
A selection of Bagu, painting & weavings were show to appreciated audience.
Artists Theresa Beeron and Grace Reid attended
Artists represented in the exhibition were Ninney Murray, Daniel Beeron, Emily Murray, Grace Reid Eileen Tap, Theresa Beeron, John Murray, Tonya Grant, Nephi Denham, Nancy Cowan, Sally Murray, Charlotte Beeron, Trish Beeron, Marley Beeron and Allison Murray.

Across Country: 5 Years of Indigenous Australian Art Collection 2011- 2012

Artist from Girringun Aboriginal art Centre are represented in Across Country: 5 Years of Indigenous Australian Art currently on exhibition at GOMA (gallery of modern art, Brisbane).
The exhibition features work from the QAG (Queensland Art Gallery) Indigenous Australian collection. Artwork includes fibre weaving, ceramic pots and the highly collectible Bagu with Jiman Ceramics which come to fame at the 2009 CIAF (Cairns Indigenous Art Fair).
Bagu with Jiman are a contemporary response to the traditional fire making implements of the Aboriginal people of the rainforest in the Fair North Queensland.

Strand Ephemera 2011 Winner of The Artistic Excellent Award

Girringun ArtistsBagu on the Strand Bagu on the Strand Bagu on the strand Exhibition

The Installation was made up of 15 life sized bagu (based on the Aboriginal rainforest fire making tools). Made from ceramic, metal, recycled materials and incorporating weaving techniques these statuesque figures were a imposing sight to see.

Following a successful funding application to the Australia Council for the Arts the artists working at the Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre in Cardwell began to create life size Bagu for the display at this year’s Strand Ephemera.

The artists approached the project in different ways, some with trepidation and some with enthusiasm. Everyone agreed that this work would be a wonderful opportunity to rise to the challenge of working with large objects and mixing traditional and contemporary materials.
Everyone has worked very hard to make this project happen and have gained a lot of experience, learned new skills and become more confident as work progressed.

The majority of the artists worked collaboratively and each tells a story on their Bagu. Some have a traditional message while others convey personal stories and others are a comment on contemporary life.

Girringun artists used a variety of materials including traditional timber (milky-pine), clay and cane through to recycled materials, ghost netting, packaging materials, banana twine, metal and more.
A number of the Bagu are painted with traditional patterns which, for Traditional Owners, are a form of identity and quite specific to different areas of the rainforest country. There are strict protocols involved in the use of the designs and they cannot be used by anyone who doesn’t have the permission to do so.

Girringun Artists took out the Awarded for Artistic Excellence, Artists involved Judith Henry, Theresa Beeron, Nephi Denham, Sally Murray, John Murray, Alison Murray, Debra Murray, Gloria Andy, Nina Andy, Leonard Andy, Ethel Murray, Nephi Denham, Emily Murray, Clarence Kinjun, Tonya Grant, Trish Beeron, Daniel Beeron, Eileen Tep, Grace Reid, George Beeron, Charlotte Beeron, Maureen Beeron.

Bunyaydinyu Bagu Suzanne O'Connell Gallery, Brisbane, 2011

Artists working with the Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre have had another successful exhibition opening at the Suzanne O’Connell Gallery in New Farm, Brisbane. The exhibition featured ceramic Bagu uniquely entwined with lawyer cane. Girringun artists combine two art forms to create Bunyaydinyu Bagu (roughly translated as Weaving Firesticks) – age old weaving traditions bind ceramic figurines derived from traditional fire making tools.

For further information about this exhibition visit:

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair Cairns, 2010

Artists exhibiting: Betty Andy, Gloria Andy, Leonard Andy, Daniel Beeron, Maureen Beeron, Nancy Beeron, Theresa Beeron, Nancy Cowan, Nephi Denham, Deborah Grant, Tonya Grant, Kayla Henry, Chris Kennedy, Clarence Kinjun, Doris Kinjun, Marjorie Kinjun, Dena Leo, Sandra Leo, Abe Muriata, Alison Murray, Debra Murray, Emily Murray, Ethel Murray, John Murray, Ninney Murray, Phylicia Murray, Sally Murray, Elizabeth Nolan, Phil Rist, Maxine Yasserie.