The Museum of Tropical North Queensland in Townsville is the first venue of a national tour of artworks and cultural objects from the rainforest people of the Girringun region.
Opened recentlyby Girringun Chairperson and Gugu Badhun Traditional Owner Ms Pat Hoolihan, this touring exhibition was made possible with funding from Visions Australia. Ms Hoolihan commented that: This project originated out of community interest in the cultural material from the Girringun region collected by South Australia Museum, including rare objects never displayed publicly and never with Traditional Owner involvement. We are very much involved in what is happening here now.. The inclusion of some very rare and beautiful objects – baskets, firemaking tools and others, bringing them back to visit from South Australia to North Queensland for the first time in over 100 years is – for us – a profound experience, as we believe that the spirits of the old people, our ancestors, remain with the objects. They are extraordinarily precious.
Girramay Elder Claude Beeron was the cultural advisor for the project and was moved to see these objects from his ancestors so close to home. Mr Beeron had previously travelled to Adelaide and Melbourne with curator Dr Valerie Boll and artists Abe Muriata, Nephi Denham, Mrs Ninney Murray and Debra Murray for research and liaison with the South Australian Museum and the Melbourne Museum.
Mr Brian Oldman, Director of the South Australia Museum came up for the exhibition and joined a large contingent of artists and interested people who travelled to Townsville last Friday to experience the amazing display of rainforest culture and imagery.
Traditional and contemporary works showcased in the same space demonstrate the progression of tool and object making and transitions that are occurring in more recent work and reflect on a culture which is very much alive. The exhibition includes two documentaries and aerial images by Debra Murray, sculptural works and weaving.
Manggan – gather, gathers, gathering, the exhibition, features 19 artists and it will tour to fourteen venues across five states for the next three years. Museums and Galleries in Brisbane will manage the touring component of the show with support from Girringun Art Centre Manager Valerie Keenan.
The Museum of Tropical North Queensland, Townsville is open every day between 0930 and 1700 hours, and the exhibition will remain open to the public in Townsville until February 11. For further information: http://www.mtq.qm.qld.gov.au/Events+and+Exhibitions/Exhibitions/2017/09/Manggan#.WbNhfsax9hE or contact Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre 07 40668300.