Curators: Angelina Karadada Boona in association with Kira Kiro Arts, Kalumburu and Waringarri Aboriginal Arts, Kununurra
Dates: 30 May to 4 July 2020
Talks: Betty Bundamurra and Angelina Karadada Boona by Skype from Kira Kiro art centre in Kalumburu.
(Due to Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions.)
Our parents taught us many things about the land. How to read the land and the seasons. Summer was for hunting and fishing. We travelled through the land looking for food and camping near waterpools where animals and birds like to be. We traveled from one place to another. We read the stars at night to know when how to catch turtles. When Spring approached we were taught how to catch emus. After the rain season finished, we collected oysters, shells and crabs. In summer we collected yams and fruits and camped in caves when the rain began. We also learned to read the plants when the flowers bloomed or when to light fires. It was for a reason back then, for our diet. First we would get food and water from the land then from the sea we would hunt and fish. We also were taught to protect places where our people once lived. We were taught about places like the rock art and where the spirits live. We must not take so much from the land, river and sea. We also like to share. We like to draw the places we have been through with our parents and teach our children about these places as well.
As I walk along, along the seashore
I think of my ancestors who lived and survived on this great land
Hear voices rumbling, echoing through the tree tops, valley, river and sea
The presence of my ancestors are in the fire camp-light year after year.
As evening falls the spirits of my ancestors call, singing songs and whispering in my ears
“Go back to the ways of your ancestors and learn the language, sing and dance and learn how to survive on this great land.”
Connected to the Land comprises works by three senior Indigenous women artists and their younger colleague, artist and curator Angelina Karadada Boona. The exhibition honours the late Mrs. Taylor and Mary Punchi Clement and presents their immersive work with a distinctive armoury of brush marks in a rich, ochre palette.
In the small tin shed that houses Kira Kiro, work is respectful and mutual: the artists cross languages—from Wunambal and Kwini—and are united by the surrounding indigenous lifeworld. The exhibition sweep reveals the lands and paths crossed by ancestral beings as the artists transform signs and customary objects of another time and place into something daringly modern. The crucial role that Kira Kiro plays in training and supporting artists and helping preserve a World Heritage rock art archive is discussed. Nearby are low sandstone formations featuring the mulberry coloured shadows of Kiro Kiro rock figures; part of the grand rock art galleries of East Kimberley that cover an area the size of Germany.
Angelina Karadada, Boona, 100x80cm. AK-K02217-20
Angelina Karadada, Boona, 100x80cm. AK-K02218-20
Angelina Karadada, Boona, 76x57cm.
Videos about Kira Kiro Art Centre and artist interviews: