Six things to see at CMAG on Reconciliation Day 2018
Explore Canberra Museum and Gallery's collection on the first Reconciliation Day public holiday
When: 12-5pm Monday 28 May. For all opening hours see the CMAG website
Where: Canberra Museum and Gallery, Corner London Circuit and Civic Square
Take a walk through CMAG on the first Reconciliation Day public holiday to see works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders artists, some dating back to the 1800s. Here is a list of six things to see to get your journey started.
1.Reed necklace 1862, maker unconfirmed Gallery 1
This traditional reed necklace was a wedding present from a local Aboriginal man, possibly Jemmy the Rover, to Minna Close Palmer when she married Frederick James Davis in 1862.
On loan from Catherine Palmer-Woods.
2.Fish trap 7 2001, Jenni Kemarre MARTINIELLO Gallery 1
Jenni Kemarre Martiniello’s recent glass works include translations of traditional hand-woven Indigenous fish traps, which are known in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory and along the Murray River in South Australia, the artist’s home state. The artist echoes the utilitarian shape in the blown glass form of Fish trap 7 and the weave of the grasses though caneworking, which allows the addition of intricate patterns and stripes into blown glass.
Purchased with funds donated by Harriet Elvin, 2011.
3.Possum skin cloak 2010, Matilda HOUSE and Diana WILLIAMS Gallery 1
Matilda House is an elder who identifies with the Ngambri and Ngunnawal people of Canberra. Ms House and Diana Williams made the cloak in 2010 and Ms House burned the designs on the cloak, drawing on imagery of the Murrumbidgee River, the Brindabella Range, bush tucker and the wedge-tailed eagle (her totem) and brolgas. Ms House wore this possum-skin cloak for the Welcome to Country ceremony at the opening of the 43rd Parliament in Canberra 28 September 2010.
4.Turtle shell – connections 2011, Lyndy DELIAN Galleries 2/3
Lyndy Delian is a founding member in 2003 of the ACT Indigenous Textile and Glass artists group. Delian has written that her artwork, ‘try to show the relationship between land, water, sky, plants, animals, family and culture’, and that ‘poetry, stories and teachings told to me, connections to land and community, inspire my work’. Delian explains that the engraving and etchings on the underside of the blown glass turtle shell throw shadows onto the surface of the shells beneath to bring spirit into the work.
Purchased with funds from the Meredith Hinchliffe Fund, 2012.
5.A new geography (of dreams the heart which cast its own) 2006, Danie MELLOR Galleries 2/3
Danie Mellor’s art often draws on the Indigenous culture of the rainforest region around Cairns, which is home to his mother’s family and holds a spiritual and cultural significance for him. This work takes the form of a shield. Traditionally painted ochre designs were used to identify the bearer of the shield with markings that reference family, totem, language and country. Mellor has cast a series of clay moulds from original shields and also manufactured shields from old steel trunks. The patterns on the earthernware shields are derived from sources such as European geological survey maps of the Atherton Tablelands that specifically reference his mother’s country.
6.Unfinished Business 2013, Belinda MASON and Dieter KNIERIM Gallery 5
A photographic exhibition that tells 30 stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and disability. The artist and documentary filmmaker Dieter Knierim have worked in close collaboration with the exhibition’s story tellers to reveal their experiences via 3D lenticular photographs, voice, video and text.
On loan from the artists.
Image: Lurpeen Clarke, Koori Woman, Actor and Artist, Belinda Mason