Particulate Matter: A fossil fuelled future? — 6 March to 2 May
Alison Clouston & Boyd / Jacky Green / Iltja Ntjarra: Benita Clements, Ricky Connick, Selma Coulthard, Vanessa Inkamala, Gloria Pannka, Mervyn Rubuntja, Hilary Wirri, Betty Namatjira Wheeler / Fiona MacDonald
Iltja Ntjarra Art Centre, Alice Springs and Waralangku Arts, Borroloola
Dates: 6 March to 2 May
Opening: Thursday 5 March, 6pm. In the presence of Iltja Ntjarra artists
Talks by: Mervyn Rubuntja and Marisa Maher
Guest Speaker: Dany Celermajor
Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney where she leads to the Multi-species Justice Collective.
Thursday 5 March, 11 to 2 pm:
Watercolour Masterclass with Iltja Ntjarra artists. Booked out.
Mervyn Rubuntja, Artist Statement: We want to introduce to people in urban environments the beautiful landscape of the Northern Territory. At the same time, we want to raise awareness about the issues we are facing. We feel that there is a lack of consultation with traditional owners. If the authorities would only listen to us rather than investing in things such as mining on our country, which we strongly object to.
Jack Green, Artist Statement: Glencore, the company that owns McArthur River Mine, talk about the mine being in the middle of nowhere, at great distances from the places the Whitefellas fly in from to work there. But it’s not in the middle of nowhere. McArthur River Mine sits in our country, right amongst a network of sacred sites and cultural places that give us life.
About Particulate Matter
At the end of 2019, much of Australia’s east coast (NSW and Victoria) and the Flinders Ranges and Kangaroo Island (SA) went up in flames. The Black Summer collapsed the tyranny of distance: the far from here became intimate as smoke crawled into every set of lungs, near or far, as “particulate-matter”, particles that are small enough to enter and damage human lung tissue. For months, Australians breathed air pollution up to 26 times above levels considered hazardous to human health. Climate emergency is now a thing that envelopes and entraps us all.
We are a continent of orange sunsets, dead rivers and dying koalas, black oceans and bleached coral; a laboratory of the crisis that confronts contemporary existence. Particulate Matter breathes an alternative landscape tradition; one that fights land appropriation and resource extraction without consent. In 1963, a bark petition by Yolngu elders protested the alienation of traditional lands for bauxite mining at Yirrkala in Northern Territory. The petition offered non-Indigenous Australians a rare opportunity to understand the creation and maintenance of the region, with its complex relations of Indigenous ownership, custodianship and obligation: a living tradition of land care, stretching back 60,000 years, or the ‘eternal present’ of the Indigenous Dreamtime. While the 1963 petition was unsuccessful, in the short term, it provoked the Federal Government’s 1976 Land Rights (NT) Act which galvanised the homelands and art centre movements.
Critical engagements by artists matter deeply as they can enable change of mind, heart and legislation. Traditions of witnessing and mass interventions—from the riot of hand-made signs in school children’s climate protests, to chatty Knitting Nanas and the spectacular choreography of Extinction Rebellion—all help us to figure out what is going on in politics, state and corporate propaganda and heavy-handed laws from the ‘push-back’ Intervention to mass incarceration of Aboriginal people.
The artists in Particulate Matter have called for action against ecocide. They represent three distant but linked areas of fossil fuel exploration and development: Central Australia and the Great Artesian Basin, one of Australia’s most significant hydrogeological entities, Barkly Tableland and the Gulf of Carpentaria and Galilee Basin in central Queensland. In the Northern Territory Jack Green and other Yanyuwa, Garawa, Marra and Gudanji artists take on the McArthur River Mine the world’s largest open-cut lead-zinc mine, owned by Glencore a transnational miner operating in 18 countries, and fracking. In parched Central Australia Mervyn Rubuntja’s ‘No Fracking’ camel points to the stupidity of water-intensive fracking. Both Jack Green and Mervyn Rubuntja are custodians and leading voices. In Queensland a broad group of artist / activists have raised awareness about open cut and underground coal mining in the vast Galilee Basin. Together with many artists they memorialise each dying species, loss and ruin and the destruction of a Dreaming storyline. Jack Green’s radiating lines or stripes convey, simultaneously, energy and meditation; the land is breathing.
In artworks and exhibitions, actions and artist videos the artists continue the history of contesting the Western modernist landscape tradition; of the mute bush peopled by anti-heroes or marginalised folk. During the period of alienated modernist landscapes, the watercolours of Western Aranda speaking artist Albert Namatjira became increasingly popular and a few bark paintings found their way into public art collections via anthropological ‘expeditions’. In 2020 curator Brooke Andrew brings a First Nations worldview to the Sydney Biennale—founded 47 years ago. That’s how long it takes to “get a go” in Australia.
Nonetheless, First Nations artists have helped to win hearts, minds and a fair share of battles for Native Title, environmental justice and the Uluru Statement (2017) for Truth, Treaty and Voice. Most Australians now acknowledge that recognition and respect and environmental sustainability are related issues. Many see the colonial savagery and failure of the Intervention, dramatically introduced in 2007 as a military intervention. The Federal Government now calls for the extension of the Intervention (past 2022) as ‘income management’, having long desired to spread the Intervention beyond the Northern Territory to other regional communities.
Descendants of Albert Namatjira (1902-1959), and his kin honour the ‘heritage of Namatjira’ by setting up Iltja Ntjarra (Many Hands) art school and art centre in Mparntwe / Alice Springs, Australia in 2003. Directed by descendants and kin relatives of Albert Namatjira and chaired by Mervyn Rubuntja, Iltja Ntjarra keeps the Hermannsburg watercolour tradition strong for future generations. it Encompasses the epic sites of Rutjimpa (Mt Sonder), Kwartatuma (Orminston Gorge), Yapalpa (Glen Helen) and Marlanginja (Palm Valley) to the south. The artists extend the famous Hermannsburg school to film, performance (such as with BigHeart theatre group in 2015) and activism (the copyright campaign).
These “intervention” artworks, like the artists’ works for NIRIN, the concurrent 2020 Sydney Biennale, are drawn from their social commentary paintings, focussing on mining and climate change. In mid-2016, artists at Iltja Ntjarra art centre invited artist Tony Albert to hold collage workshops in Alice Springs, confronting matters like homelessness and health—key issues the Intervention has miserably failed to address.
The artists say: This body of work explores the overlay of modernity on the traditional indigenous way of life. It delves deeply into the psychological process of alienation and the deep-seated need and determination to hold fast what has been entrusted by past ancestors. It is a reflection of the past and a window to the future. Intrusions and uniforms may change, but Tjina Nurna-ka, Pmarra Nurn-kanha, Itla Itla Nurn-kanha / Our family, our country, our legacy, does not.
Since that time, as Jack Green states about a painting: Government been working for a long time to push us Aboriginal people off our homelands. Many people end up in town with no job, no house and no family support. Being in town, whether it be Darwin, Katherine or Tennant Creek can be dangerous for Aboriginal people. In October 2019, Santos was given the green light to start fracking in the Northern Territory’s McArthur Basin despite fierce resistance from environmentalists, health professionals and the local community. They call it ‘Developing the North’.
Jack Green follows the lead of his esteemed Gundanji colleague Gordon Landsen Milyindirri and views the artist as advocate and historian. Gordon Landsen Milyindirri, one of the most well-known of the founders of Waralungku Arts and and a leader of the Borroloola Land Claim (1979). Landsen’s figurative style was influenced by his associations with Albert Namatjira in the 1950s. His painterly style and depicts the country of his homelands, including important places names and sacred sites. Into this sacred custodial landscape Landsen introduces a narrative from”wild times” before European occupation, followed by “police times” and “welfare times” (1957 to 1973). Yanyuwa people remember these as times of harsh injustices imposed upon them by a white system of law, often for minor infringements, or for carrying out traditional activities such as burning country. “Tourist times” followed the granting of land rights. Tourists are (largely) ignorant of local cultural practices and of Aboriginal ownership of lands. Significantly both Green and Landsen have responsibility for lands that include the site of the McArthur River Mine.
Artists Fiona MacDonald and Alison Clouston and Boyd contributed to Bimblebox: Art, Science, Nature (curator Beth Jackson), a successful national touring exhibition based on artist residencies at Bimblebox Nature Refuge in the Galilee Basin. The Bimblebox Art Project, begun in 2012 by artist Jill Sampson, joins a vital genre of contemporary art exhibitions that create platforms for calmer discussions.
Fiona MacDonald’s Mining Galilee (2014) subtly presents the economic and emotional conflict between energy resources and natural heritage in regional communities—a propaganda flash point for politicians. Her digital photographic series layers the massive scale of open-cut mining — the image is Gina Reinhard’s “Test Mine” at Alpha in the Galilee Basin over studio portraits taken in Rockhampton in a primarily agricultural age. (Several members of the artist’s Rockhampton-based family have worked in these mines.)
Alison Clouston’s Coalface death mask (2020) in Particulate Matter belongs to a set of her works that double as performance costumes with Extinction Rebellion or at mass climate emergency rallies. Debuting at National Day of Action, Sydney Town Hall (22 February 2020). In collaboration with composer Boyd’s soundscapes Clouston links the ‘social situations’ of street protest to immersive ‘social archives’ of deep, even geological time, or cyclical time experienced in a gallery installation.
The urgency of environmental emergency and destruction are evaded by our Federal government. Prime Minister Morrison, elected by coal donations money, calls for “resilience” while planning for more coal mines and promotes a long, slow detour through “the gas route” allegedly for its lower carbon dioxide emissions. In 2016 atmospheric carbon dioxide passed 400ppm and in the previous year Australia emitted 532 million tons of carbon dioxide — despite extreme drought and renewable energy uptake. (AFR, 29 November 2019.) Even a catastrophic temperature increase of 2℃ of global warming would require annual emissions reduction of 2.7% per year, well beyond what can be accomplished by subsidising gas.
The geographic sites in Particulate Matter are broadly representative of Australia’s efforts to be the world’s biggest quarry. Exploration permits generally cover the very large areas that are required for oil and gas exploration. Linked and often interlocking cartels pay lobbyists and ‘think tanks’ to sway politicians and public opinion. In Queensland the three amigos who have the biggest Galilee Basin leases are illustrative: Gina Reinhardt’s company Hancock Prospecting dug Alpha Test Mine but it depends on Adani’s railway line. Adani owns Abbott Point near Bowen. Fellow billionaire Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal (formerly titled China First), applied for a Mining Lease and Environmental Authority for an area four times the size of internationally controversial Adani coal mine. Palmer claims credit for Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s 2019 election win: he donated more than $80 million to pro-mining scare advertising. Gina Reinhardt’s donations extend to donating $5 million to extreme right-wing advocacy body the “IPA” or Institute of Public Affairs, the “Voice of Freedom”. While the fossil fuel industry remains the highest donor to major Federal political parties, a flourishing future is as unlikely.
In the Northern Territory where landowners consent to an exploration permit there is an implied right to develop (see map below). In 2016 the Northern Territory Labor Party made a moratorium on fracking an election promise. In April 2018, following a 15-month inquiry where the overwhelming response from the NT community—as stated in the inquiry—was they did not want fracking, they did not trust mining companies or the government to regulate fracking. Despite this, the new Labor Chief Minister, Michael Gunner, said the practice could resume. Huge areas of the NT (51%) were transformed into industrial gas fields. Before Xmas 2019, Eva Lawler, the Territory Minister for Climate Change signed off on fracking, allowing SANTOS to frack the Gulf of Carpentaria; and ORIGIN to frack The Barkly Tableland using 60 million litres of pristine Territory water per fracked well.
The drought followed by infernos have made us aware that water is an increasingly scarce resource. Natural gas has been piped from the Amadeus Basin (Palm Valley and Mereenie gas fields) through the Amadeus Gas Pipeline to Darwin since 1986. The new high-pressure Northern Gas Pipeline has enabled Mereenie field, west of Alice Springs, to ramp up production, Palm Valley to re-open, and the opening of a new Dingo gas field south of Alice Springs. More exploration drilling underway—anywhere, anytime. The new high-pressure pipeline crosses the Barkly Tableland connecting to the Carpentaria Gas Pipeline near Mount Isa in Queensland. This is euphemistically called the ‘Develop the North’ project by the Federal and Territory Governments.
For their opponents the decision by the High Court in the Timber Creek appeal launched by the late Mr Griffiths from Warringarri Arts in Kununurra, awarded Timber Creek native title holders $2.5m, partly for ‘spiritual harm’ (ABC, 13 March 2019.) is cold comfort. Not withstanding, the Queensland Environmental Defenders Office has launched a challenge on behalf of the owners/caretakers of Bimblebox Nature Refuge and The Bimblebox Alliance. The ‘public debate’ is massively disproportionate
Over the Black Summer, author Richard Flanagan wrote from Bruny Island off the coast of Tasmania, “Australia has only one realistic chance to, you know, survive: Join other countries like those Pacific nations whose very future is now in question and seek to become an international leader in fighting for far stronger global action on climate change. But to do that it would first have to take decisive action domestically.” (NYT, 25 January 2020.) Flanagan dramatically introduces Danielle Celermajer’s idea of “omnicide” to capture the scale and breadth of the killing. Celermajer a Sydney academic specialising in multispecies justice, says that ‘More than ecocide, “omnicide” is “the killing of everything – human and morethanhuman.’
Across our region from the Pacific to the Indonesian archipelago, there are pleas for Australia’s leaders to “listen to the scientists”.
Vale: Over the Black Summer we mourned 33 human deaths, 12.6 million hectares burnt to the ground causing trillions of animal deaths and over 100 species extinctions (in NSW alone over a thousand species are already extinct). The world lost 80 per cent of the Blue Mountains world heritage area and 50 per cent of the Gondwana world heritage rainforest. Property damage was 3,000 homes destroyed and 47,000 properties damaged.
We honour our firefighters and vast crews of volunteers who communicated, healed and fed so bravely and those who travelled from afar to join in solidarity.
Jo Holder and Djon Mundine OAM
Special thanks to the artists and to Bimblebox Art Project (Beth Jackson and Jill Simpson); Iltja Ntjarra Art Centre (Iris Bendor, Marisa Maher, Koren Wheatley & Tony Albert) and Waralungku Arts (Katrina Langdon) and historian Dr Seán Kerins; The Cross Art Projects: Belle Blau, Simon Blau, Phillip Boulten and Susan Gilligan and Stop the Intervention Collective or STICS (Sabine Kacha). Watercolour Masterclass: Mervyn Rubuntja, Hubert Pareroultja, Dellina Inkamala and Marisa Maher.
Particulate Matter: A Fossil Fuelled Future? Window painting: Left: Fiona MacDonald, Mining Galilee, 2020. Image Source: Aerial Photo by Paul Hamilton of Alpha Coal Project Test, Hancock Prospecting, chairman Gina Rinehart, Galilee Basin, 2012 (painted by Steve Smith). Right: Alison Clouston, Coalface 4 and Coalface 5 (Nose), 2020. Recycled aluminium, wool, coal.
Jack Green, L to R: Ngarki Yarji (My Country) (#721-19), This Land is Ours – Four Clans (Yanyuwa, Garawa, Marra and Gudanji) (#249-19), Our Country is Alive and Whitefellas Don’t Want to Know (#29-20), How whitefellas Look After Whitefellas (#40-20) & Our Dreamings Our Life (#403-19)
Jack Green, L to R: No Blacks Allowed (#363-19) & Sacred Country (#2-10)
Jack Green, No Blacks Allowed, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 41 cm (#363-19).
Jack Green, Artist Statement: Government been working for a long time to push us Aboriginal people off our homelands. Many people end up in town with no job, no house and no family support. Being in town, whether it be Darwin, Katherine or Tennant Creek can be dangerous for Aboriginal people. Aboriginal people are always getting moved along, always watched, always told you can’t be here. Once when people were drinking they could sit in the park, under the trees out in the open where they could be seen and feel safe. But these days’ Aboriginal people aren’t allowed in the parks when they drink. The parks are for white people, they like to keep them nice and green. Being pushed out of these places makes it unsafe for Aboriginal who can’t drink in a hotel, kept out because of no shoes or because the bouncer doesn’t like the look of ya. People are pushed into the scrub to drink. They pushed out where no one can see them. It’s not safe drinking on the side of the creek where a croc might get you or to a place where you might get murdered. Government and councils don’t care about making it unsafe for Aboriginal people as long as their green parks look good for white people.
Jack Green, Our Dreamings Our Life, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 cm (#403-19).
Jack Green Artist Statement: The old man, claps his boomerangs and sings the song that travels with the Dreaming track of the Old Snake that travelled from the east to the west, before turning south east and going into the ground. Old Snake went right into the ground, right where McArthur River Mine is now trying to dig him up. Nearby are other sacred sites, the Garbula tree and the Turtle. Not too far away is the Barramundi Dreaming and the Jabiru Dreaming. These Dreaming’s are powerful, they give us life, we come from them when we born and go back to them. Today whitefellas have trapped them all in the lease of McArthur River Mine where the mining company keeps digging and digging down in to the Old Snake and leaving behind a toxic waste rock pile. Once this Country at McArthur River was full of food, easy for families to go hunting bringing back wallaby, goanna, good food like that. But not today because the mine is destroying our Country, its food and sacred places.
Jacky Green, Ngarki Yarji (My Country), 2019, acrylic on canvas, 61 x 94 cm (#271-19)
Jack Green, Artist Statement: My Country used to look beautiful before miners pushed their way in and started digging it up and leaving their toxic waste behind for our children to deal with. When we were all living on Country there used to be wallaby drives where men would get behind the wallabies and drive them toward the hunters hiding and waiting for the prey. This was the time before white people came to shoot our people so they could take our land. After this terrible time, when things settle down a bit, some old drovers used to come to Borroloola and pick up some of the old men who could show them where the water holes were for the cattle on their trip towards Queensland. (#271-19)
Jacky Green, This Land is Ours–Four Clans (Yanyuwa, Garawa, Marra and Gudanji), 2019, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 74 cm (#249-19)
Jack Green, Artist Statement: Garrwa, Gudanji, Marra and Yanyuwa been here forever. We all tied in through ceremony and Dreaming tracks. Marra (top left) are saltwater people hunting turtle, dugong. They dance the Buffalo dance. Yanyuwa (top right) are saltwater people too, hunting; turtle and dugong out around the islands. Gudanji (bottom left) and Garrwa (bottom right) tied in to the Dreaming Track that runs from Garrwa Country in to Gudanji Country. There are a lot of powerful sacred sites that need to be looked after by us with song and ceremony. We gotta keep em safe. We all got spirit people in our Countries. They watching, looking; out, seeing what’s happening. This land is ours, it’s not for whitefellas to destroy while they tryin; to make a buck. Us four clans gotta stand strong together.
L to R: Selma Coulthard (Nunay), Time Travel (#114-20). Benita Clements, Homeless (#71-20), Ricky Connick Jakamara, Solid Rock, Standing On Sacred Ground (#73-20), Mervyn Rubuntja, NO FRACKING (#69-20) & Mervyn Rubuntja, Closing the Gap (#72-20)
L to R: Vanessa Inkamala, Rutjipma (Mt Sonder) Always was always will be (#56-20), Vanessa Inkamala, Roll back the intervention (#70-20) & Vanessa Inkamala, Untyeytweye (#113-20)
Mervyn Rubuntja, NO FRACKING, 2019. Watercolour on paper, 73 x 54 cm
Vanessa Inkamala, Rutjipma (Mt Sonder), Always Was Always Will Be, 2020. (#56-20)
Vanessa Inkamala, Artist Statement: I wanted to show that even though this country is post card perfect, it should still be acknowledged as the significant Indigenous cultural site that it is.
Vanessa Inkamala, Untyeyetwelye, 2020. (#113-20)
Vanessa Inkamala, Artist Statement: This place is called Anzac Hill in white man’s language, but we call it Untyeyetwelye. It is a sacred women’s site for us, but unfortunately It is now a memorial site for soldiers of war. Growing up I always saw the Australian flag flying up on that hill, but never the Aboriginal flag.
Vanessa Inkamala, Roll back the intervention, watercolour on Arches paper, 73 x 54 cm (#70-20)
Benita Clements, Homeless, watercolour on Arches paper, 54 x 36 cm (#71-20)
Selma Coulthard (Nunay), Time Travel, watercolour on Arches paper, 54 x 34 cm (114-20)
Ricky Connick Jakamara, Solid rock, standing on sacred ground, 53 x 35 cm (#73-20)
Mervyn Rubuntja, Closing the gap, watercolour on Arches paper, 54 x 35 cm (#72-20)
Selected Anti Mining/Fracking watercolours by Betty Namatjira Wheeler, Hilary Wirri, Selma Coulthard, Gloria Pannka & Benita Clements
Alison Clouston, Coalface 4, 2020, recycled aluminium, wool, coal, dimensions variable
Alison Clouston, Coalface 4 & Coalface 5 (Nose), 2020, recycled aluminium, wool, coal, dimensions variable
Alison Clouston & Boyd, Coalface 4, 2020. Climate Emergency Rally, Sydney Town Hall, 22 February 2020
Alison Clouston & Boyd, Coalface 4, Town Hall. Bimblebox, 2020, Video loop, 1.59 mins. Images and sound recordings from the National Day of Climate Action, Feb 2020, Sydney Town Hall and Bimblebox Nature Refuge, site of proposed coal mine, Queensland.
Fiona MacDonald, Mining Jericho, 2013 Inkjet print, 62 x 46 cm.
Image Sources: Aerial Photo by Paul Hamilton of Alpha Coal Project Test, Hancock Prospecting, chairman Gina Rinehart, Galilee Basin, 2012; Mercer Photographic Studio negative archive, collection Rockhampton City Library.
Fiona MacDonald, Mining Blackwater, 2013 Inkjet print, 62 x 46 cm.
Fiona MacDonald, Mining Tambo, 2013 Inkjet print, 46 x 62 cm.
About the Artists
Benita Clements is the great granddaughter of Albert Namatjira and daughter of artist Gwenda Namatjira. She paints quirky figurative works of her efforts to teach her family, including her husband, Ricky Connick, the skills of watercolour art.
Alison Clouston & Boyd, are a collaborative of sculptor / installation artist and composer / sound artist, and have since 2007 added a formal carbon audit and offset to their renowned re-cycled artworks
Ricky Connick’s work is distinguished by a precise drawing technique and his interest in showing hunting practices. he speaks Western Aranda and Pitjantjatjara as his mother’s country is Ntaria and he grew up in Areyonga, his father’s country.
Selma Nunay Coulthard grew up in Hermannsburg where she went to school with fellow artist Ivy Pareroultja. Watching the Namatjira brothers paining in Ntaria inspired her to be an artist.
Jack Wongili Green is a Garrwa man, has fought for over 3 decades to protect his country and its sacred sites, including founding the Garrwa Rangers and Waanya/Garrwa Rangers. He turned to painting in 2008 to get his voice heard and show what is happening to his country and people. He has collaborated with academic Seán Kerins on a series of important articles about caring for country, notably in People on Country, Vital Landscapes, Indigenous Futures (edited by Jon Altman and Seán Kerins). Jack Green won the 2015 Peter Rawlinson Conservation Award. His work is represented in the collection of the Australian National University. In 2016 he was a finalist in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in Darwin.
Vanessa Inkamala was born in 1968 at Ntaria (Hermannsburg). Her grandmother’s brother is Albert Namatjira. She is the niece of award winning atist Ivy Pareroultja who nursed Vanessa and her brother Reinhold Inkamala, both painters.
Fiona MacDonald is known for her installations of bodies of work that draw on local cultural traditions, social and natural history. Her work takes the form of ‘conversations’ about undercurrents in social processes of inclusion and exclusion – http://www.fiona-macdonald.net/
Mervyn Rubuntja continues a tradition began by his father Wenten Rubuntja, an important political leader in central Australia, chair of the Central Land Council and senior lawman, by painting “land rights painting” in both acrylic, watercolour and Western Desert styles.
Watercolour Masterclass: Mervyn Rubuntja, Hubert Pareroultja and Dellina Inkamala with assistance from and Marisa Maher.
Links & Downloads
Digital Catalogue: Particulate Matter: A fossil fuelled future?, 2020. (PDF) > Download as pdf
The Australian arts and cultural sector was shut to help contain COVID-19 from 16 March 2020. For this reason we created the Digital Catalogue and a Video tribute.
Iltja Ntjarra: Namatjira School of Art, Alice Springs, NT: https://manyhandsart.com.au/
Map NT Petroleum Leases
1. In the Northern Territory a huge prisons industry locks-up mostly Indigenous people. In 2018, 84% of adult prisoners in the NT were Aboriginal, despite Aboriginal adults accounting for 25.9% of the NT’s adult population. Figures for young people are much worse (almost 100%).
2. McArthur River Mining (MRM) mines one of the world’s largest zinc and lead deposits. The mine is south-west of the town of Borroloola and exports through Bing Bong loading facility on the Gulf of Carpentaria. Established as an underground operation in 1995, MRM controversially converted to open pit mining in 2006. In 2007-08 they built a 6km diversion of the river. The current mine life extends to 2036. Waste discharges and impact reporting is “self-monitored”. Rehabilitation is by MRM (eg., planting seedlings). Remediation defaults to the NT government.
3. On the Uluru Statement journey see Thomas Mayor, Finding the Heart of the Nation, Hardie Grant Publishing, 2019.
4. Land Rights News (Northern Edition) July 2017. On the 10-year anniversary of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (the “Intervention”) a brutalising drama introduced on the eve of a Federal Election. Includes articles by Pat Dodson, Jon Altman, Thalia Anthony.
5. Kieran Finnane, ‘Namatjira family: Getting listeners ‘through our art’, Alice Springs News, 6 July 2016. On Iltja Ntjarra’s early “social commentary” work: https://www.alicespringsnews.com.au/2016/07/06/namatjira-family-getting-people-to-listen-through-our-art
6. The Northern Territory’s Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracking (Draft report December 2017) recommended that areas not prospective for onshore gas or where go-existence is not possible be reserved blocks under the Petroleum Act 1984 (NT). See Central Land Council Annual Report. Mining starts at p. 54. and ABC NT, 17 Apr 2018: Beetaloo Basin: What do we know about the region at the heart of the NT fracking debate? By Bridget Judd at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-15/beetaloo-basin-at-the-heart-of-the-nt-fracking-gas-debate/9652390. In early 2020 Origin announced Origin have stopped fracking the NT—at least for the time being during a time of depressed world oil and gas prices and COVID-19.
7. At https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-13/native-title-high-court-land-rights-spiritual-connection/10895934
8. Richard Flanagan, How Does a Nation Adapt to Its Own Murder? New York Times, 25 January 2020. Flanagan cites Danielle Celermajer. At https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/25/opinion/sunday/australia-fires-climate-change.html and Danielle Celermajer, ABC Radio, ‘Omnicide: Who is responsible for the gravest of all crimes?’ https://www.abc.net.au/religion/danielle-celermajer-omnicide-gravest-of-all-crimes/11838534
Climate Emergency Campaigns
An open letter on the scientific basis for the links between climate change and bushfires in Australia – https://australianbushfiresandclimatechange.com/
Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) – https://www.facebook.com/AYCC.org.au/
Bimblebox Nature Refuge – https://bimblebox.org/ and Bimblebox Art Project website – http://bimbleboxartproject.com
Bimblebox 153 Birds, exhibition available for tour – http://netsaustralia.org.au/register/bimblebox-153-birds/
Campaign by climate scientists and museum directors for national action to tackle climate change in the wake of Australia’s devastating bushfire seasons – https://www.sbs.com.au/news/climate-scientists-and-museum-directors-urge-leaders-to-take-stronger-action?fbclid=IwAR2iJ70v8pr9Y7YY46V70M62Htf7D0cO7fqVZwceJG-5_go1UOH1sCWn4gM
Climate Emergency Summit, Melbourne, February 2020 – https://www.climateemergencysummit.org/full-program/
Environment Defenders Office Queensland – https://www.edo.org.au/farmers-against-galilee-coal-mine/Lock the Gate Alliance at https://www.lockthegate.org.au/
SEED Indigenous Youth Climate Network: Water is Life, 2018, video document on Aboriginal Communities (filmed at Borroloola) fighting fracking in the NT. Produced by – https://vimeo.com/261023308
Stop Adani – https://www.stopadani.com/
Related Exhibitions & Links on the Intervention and Art & Mining
2016 – Social Licence. Flow of Voices 3: Jack Green, Stuart Hoosan, Nancy McDinny with Miriam Charlie, at The Cross Art Projects. – https://www.crossart.com.au/exhibition-archive/social-licence-flow-of-voices-3-jack-green-stuart-hoosan-nancy-mcdinny-with-miriam-charlie-29-october-to-26-november-2016/
2014 – Flow of Voices 1, Art & Mining. Jack Green, The Cross Art Projects – https://www.crossart.com.au/exhibition-archive/art-mining-flow-of-voices-1-jacky-green-11-april-to-17-may-2014/
2014 – Flow of Voices 2, Frontier History. Jack Green, Stuart Hoosan, Nancy McDinny with Miriam Charlie, The Cross Art Projects – https://www.crossart.com.au/exhibition-archive/frontier-history-flow-of-voices-2-jacky-green-stewart-hoosan-and-nancy-mcdinny-22-may-to-5-july-2014/