In a captivating new exhibit, the Charles Darwin University Art Gallery focuses on the nation’s history of colonization and mining and its impacts as experienced by the peoples of the First Nations in Australia.
The You Are Here exhibition features a major body of work by highly accomplished Darwin-based artist and CDU alumnus Therese Ritchie.
It examines Australia’s border wars, the slaughter of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on their lands, and the subsequent impacts of development and coal mining on the environment. Ultimately, You are Here explores how, as a nation, we got to where we are now.
Created in 2020, Ritchie uses visual digital imagery that highlights her intense unease with the land grabbing processes that resulted in the creation of the Australian nation.
Artist Therese Richie hopes her work will encourage greater recognition of the truth about the colonization of Australia.
“My work is about white Australian culture. We don’t really get together to talk about how our ancestors and mothers actually settled on Aboriginal lands, ”said Ms. Ritchie.
“We have not really taken into account the efforts made by our culture to keep the Aboriginals away from their country. To determine who we really want to be, we will need to understand and own this part of our history. “
“We can all benefit from this land, but there are a select few who are making a lot of money with this country and its resources without any regard for the consequences; this is Australia, this is how we operate.
CDU Art Gallery curator and curator of the exhibition, Dr Joanna Barrkman, said the exhibition illustrates how art can be a catalyst for social development.
“As a university art gallery, we consider presenting stimulating exhibitions to be part of our role,” said Dr Barrkman.
“This exhibit will spark thought, debate and discussion and spark broader conversations about the truth, protecting the country and the future of mining in Australia.
“As a university art gallery, we are proud to have the opportunity to present this exhibition and showcase the art of Therese Ritchie while fostering broader discussions of truth in the Northern Territory.
“We hope that this exhibition and its associated public programs will connect the public to research on these important questions. “
The exhibition is accompanied by a series of public programs, artist talks and panel discussions featuring local artists, CDU researchers and other community experts that aim to provoke thought and conversation. on mining and the environment.
An educational resource for teachers has also been developed to support You Are Here in order to promote the engagement of middle and upper secondary students.
You Are Here will be on display from June 10 to July 17, 2021 and will be officially opened by Senator Malardirri McCarthy on June 9 at 6 p.m. The CDU Art Gallery is open to the public from Wednesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The CDU art gallery is located in the Orange 12 building of the Casuarina campus. The CDU Art Collection holds the largest collection of Ritchie’s artwork in Australia and houses over 3,400 works primarily by NT-based artists. National Reconciliation Week 2021 was held from May 27 to June 3.
Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this exhibit may be confusing to viewers, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.