Inspired by the words of revered Gurindji/ Malngin leader Vincent Lingiari, 'that land... I still got it on my mind,' Still in my mind reflects on events preceding and following the seminal Gurindji Walk Off - where Lingiari led over 200 countrymen, women and children off Wave Hill Station to protest poor wages and conditions.
Curator and participating artist Brenda L. Croft developed the exhibition through long-standing practice-led research with her father's community, Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation and UNSW Galleries, UNSW Art & Design.
"The 1966 Walk-Off was a trigger point in the national land rights movement in Australia, so the events of this time and place are significant to me as a Gurindji/Malngin/Mudburra woman, through my direct family connection to the area, and through my family's experience as members of the Stolen Generations," Croft said.
Still in my mind: Gurindji location, experience and visuality, features a diversity of art mediums, including photo-media, video installation, paintings, found objects and archival material, to explore notions of home, community and country.
In developing the exhibition Croft retraced the steps of those who made the 22-kilometre Wave Hill Walk-Off journey half a century ago in homage to those before her:
"I was motivated to develop this exhibition in partnership with Karungkarni artists and Gurindji community members in tribute to those whose profound communal act of courage, resilience and determination changed the course of history," Ms Croft said.
The exhibition tour of Still in my mind: Gurindji location, experience and visuality, organised by Artback NT toured venues throughout the NT in 2018 - 2019 before travelling around the country from 2019 - 2021.
Artback NT Executive Officer Louise Partos said: "We are both excited and proud to tour this stunning exhibition which engages with such an important event in Australia's history, one that continues to resonate powerfully today. The wealth of archival materials and diverse artistic responses presented by this exhibition highlight the legacy of the Walk Off and its significance for Indigenous diaspora around the country. This is a beautiful exhibition of profound depth and we are honoured to be sharing this with audiences across Australia".
Still in my mind is developed in partnership with UNSW Galleries, UQ Art Museum, and Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation, with support from Australian Research Discovery Indigenous Award, National Institute for Experimental Arts, ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language and the Berndt Research Foundation. Tour presented by Artback NT and supported by Visions of Australia. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts and funding advisory body.
Artback NT, UNSW Australia Galleries, UQ Art Museum, Karungkarni Art & Culture Aboriginal Corporation, The University of Queensland, Australian Government: Visions of Australia, Australian Government: Australia Council for the Arts, Australian Government: Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support, Australian Government: Indigenous Languages and Arts, National Institute for Experimental Arts, Arc Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language