Inhabiting the Trace

12 February – 23 April 2022

Inhabiting the Trace explores the iterative and responsive nature of printmaking, bringing together a diverse display of printed works by Indigenous artists represented within the Berndt Museum collections. Printmaking is explored as a process of re-visiting, re-working, and re-telling, carrying the traces of other forms – artwork, archive, story, memory. Embedded within layers of ink, marks and impressions, emerge dialogues between artists, across generations, and with the past as an on-going material presence.

The exhibition features works by Peter Cameron, Paddy Carlton, Queenie McKenzie, Brett Nannup, Laurel Nannup, Lena Nyadbi, Ngarralja Tommy May, and Mervyn Street, as well as The Berndt Etching Series (2008) – a series of 27 prints by artists from the Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre that were made in response to the 1946-1947 Yirrkala Drawings. These works share the tendency of leaning into the medium of print to weave stories spanning generations. 

The exhibition also speaks to the formative role of printmaking in shaping artistic practices from the 1990s onwards, and leading to on-going collaborations between artists, printmakers, art centres, and print studios. 

Print-based works are a dynamic part of artist and art centre production, providing unique visual languages to explore histories, relationships with country, and embed continuing cultural knowledge.The following art centres associated with this exhibition have online shops, including many print sales: 

Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Waringarri Aboriginal Arts 
Warmun Art Centre

The exhibition will be on display in the Janet Holmes à Court Gallery at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery.


Media Release

Inhabiting the Trace media release [495KB]


Inhabiting the Trace catalogue [PDF,1.38MB]

Image: Laurel Nannup, We never got to open our mail, 2001, etching, ink on paper, Berndt Museum Collection, [2002/0016], courtesy of the artist.

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