Re-Presentation: Ancient Stories & Contemporary Art – Artists TalkHeld in the wake of the Voice to Parliament Referendum, Jintulu: People of the Sun interweaves ancient stories with more recent experiences of control, displacement and dispossession.
Join co-curators Michael Bonner (Yanyuwa/Jingili) and Lee Kinsella (Australian/European) and exhibiting artists Murungkurr Terry Murray (Walmajarri), Natalie Scholtz (Persian, South African) and Alison Alder (Australian/European) for a thought-provoking discussion.
Jintulu follows the long shadow cast by colonisation, with the artists taking bold stances as they reclaim First Nations’ stories, present bla(c)k bodies as sites of resistance and cast an unflinching gaze on the harsh realities of racism – then and now.
Hear from Murray as he discusses responding to Sidney Nolan’s 13-metre-long work The snake (1973) – showing for the first time in more than a decade – by bringing his people’s own Rainbow Serpent, the jila into the gallery. Scholtz traverses ‘an inherited culture’, invoking the cultural and political symbols of her homeland in a dream realm of self, identity and place. Alder’s work speaks directly to the Howard Government’s 2007 Northern Territory Emergency Response, commonly known as the ‘intervention’.
Jintulu: People of the Sun is presented by the Berndt Museum and Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery as part of the Perth Festival Visual Arts Program, supported by Wesfarmers Arts.
Free, with registration. Light refreshments will be provided.
Walmajarri man Murungkurr Terry Murray lived on Cherrabun Station in a tin shelter when he was a child. His family had no vehicle, so they went hunting on foot. Murungkurr has a strong grounding in bush skills, which he learnt from his parents. He paints his jaja [grandfather] and japi’s [grandmother’s] country, Wirnpa and Japingka in the southwestern side of the Great Sandy Desert. This area is known as jila [permanent waterhole] country. His mother and brothers lived around there when they were kids. Murungkurr has strong family connections to a significant group of Mangkaja Arts artists and knows his law and family relationships through his skin group. He explains: ‘Our culture is an everyday learning thing. I grew up with this. You have to have a strong mind and strong spirit and soul and always listen to your elders’.
Natalie Scholtz is an award winning Persian South African, Australian contemporary artist who works and resides in Perth. Scholtz works primarily with painting and drawing works on canvas, paper, and board. Her practice centres itself upon the human condition, whilst building on historical and contemporary conversations with self, community, and identity.
Showing her work on national and global scales, Scholtz has exhibited in Perth, Broome, Karratha, Milan, and London. She has received Artist residencies in Italy, Morocco, and Australia. Following her residency in Morocco, Scholtz presented her first solo exhibition Study of the Equid in 2017 at Alif Raid, Fes Morocco and has gone onto exhibit solo shows Me in Rainbows, 2017, Cult, Wellington, Skin in the Game, 2020, PS Arts Space, Fremantle, and Skin in the Game ii, 2021, Painted Tree Gallery, Northcliffe.
Alison Alder’s work blurs the line between studio and social/political art practice. She has worked within community groups, research institutions and Indigenous organisations. Her research is focused on empowering communities through the visualisation of common social aims and under-represented histories. Her work has been exhibited in several key Australian exhibitions, including Know My Name, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; See You at the Barricades, Art Gallery of NSW; and Portrait 23: Identity, National Portrait Gallery. Her work is held in major public collections, including the National Gallery of Australia and Australian War Memorial, and private and university collections, including the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art. Alison is currently artist-in-residence at Australian Parliament House, Canberra and is an Honorary Associate Professor at the Australian National University, School of Art and Design.
Michael Bonner is curator, filmmaker and archaeologist from the Northern Territory – Yanyuwa on his mother’s side and Jingili on his father’s. He studied archaeology at The University of Western Australia and Flinders University, South Australia. In 2010 he completed a Diploma of Screen Studies at the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education in the Northern Territory. In 2019, he completed a Graduate Diploma of Screen Studies in Documentary at the prestigious Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in Sydney. He is currently curator at the Berndt Museum, UWA and WA Museum Boola Bardip.
Lee Kinsella was raised on Yued Country in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia and she is currently curator of the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art at The University of Western Australia. Lee has curated and managed exhibitions at Australian state and national public institutions, including the Art Gallery of Western Australia, The Australian War Memorial and The National Film and Sound Archive. She has written catalogue essays, articles and contributed to several books on Australia art, editing Sustaining the art of practice in 2022.