This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

5 Remote Indigenous Art Centres Come Together In A Collaborative New Exhibition: ‘Our Country’

Art

Five remote Indigenous art centres will showcase together in a new exhibition at Brunswick Street Gallery, co-curated by Ngukurr artist community Elder Karen Rogers.

Our Country’, features a striking series of works overflowing with personal stories, unique art styles and cultural connections to their own ideas of Country.

You can see paintings, sculptures and moving images by artists from the Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre (NT), Elcho Island Arts (NT), Ngukurr Arts (NT), Tjarlirli and Kaltukatjara Art (NT & WA) and Warmun Art Centre (WA) in the Fitzroy gallery from today.

1st June, 2022

‘Kamela 21-1231KA’ by Aaron Pei Pie (Tjarlirli & Kalkukatjara Art). Acrylic on canvas. 91.4 x 121.9cm

Aaron Pei Pie. Photo – courtesy of Tjarlirli & Kaltukatjara Arts

Left: ‘Kamela 21-1221KA’ by Aaron Pei Pie (Tjarlirli & Kalkukatjara Art). Acrylic on canvas. 91.4 x 91.4cm. Right: ‘Kamela 22-55’, by Aaron Pei Pie (Tjarlirli & Kalkukatjara Art). Acrylic on canvas. 76.2cm x 101.5cm.

Artist Jill Daniels from Ngukurr Arts at work! Photo – Courtesy of Ngukurr Arts

‘Mustering 027-22’, by Jill Daniels (Ngukurr Art Centre). Acrylic paint on linen. 60x60cm

‘Ngukurr Street 52-22’ by Jill Daniels (Ngukurr Art Centre). Acrylic paint on linen 60 x 60cm

‘Ngukurr Street 52-22’ in progress! Photo – Courtesy of Ngukurr Arts

Left: Megan Yunupingu! Photo – Courtesy of Elcho Island Arts. Right: Worrwurr (Owls) by Megan Yunupingu (Elcho Island Arts). Ochre on carved wood

Left: ‘Birnoo Country WAC304/21’, by Gordon Barney (Warmun Art Centre). Ochre on canvas. 80 x 80cm. Right: Gordon Barney himself! Photo – Courtesy Warmun Art Centre

Left: ‘Birnoo Country WAC91/22′, by Gordon Barney (Warmun Art Centre). Ochre on canvas. 80 x 80cm. Right: Judy Manany. Photo – Courtesy Elcho Island Arts. ‘Worrwurr (Owls) Wood’, by Judy Manany (Elcho Island Arts). Ochre & PVA Glue Acrylic.

Left: ‘Broke down 039-22’, by Karen Rogers. Acrylic on linen, framed. 115 x 65cm. Right: Co-curator Karen Rogers! Image – Courtesy of Elcho Island Arts.

Christina Karras
Wednesday 1st June 2022

‘When I see the exhibition, I see memories and feel our ancestors are proud of us’ – Karen Rogers

Karen Rogers, Ngukurr artist, Elder, animator, curator, and printmaker at the Ngukurr Art Centre in the Northern Territory, and Brunswick Street Gallery director Sean Richard Smith had long dreamed of a collaborative group exhibition between art centres. But, it wasn’t until this year that the dream took form, with ‘Our Country’.

‘Ngukurr Arts has a long history of collaborating with artists and makers, so it felt natural to approach other art centres,’ Karen explains.

When it came to selecting the pieces for the show, it was important to Karen that the artists had the freedom to chose what artworks they put in.

‘Every community has different lore and styles of artwork talking about relationships and land. It wasn’t right for me to choose someone else’s artwork,’ Karen explains.

Instead, she created an exhibition statement for the artists to respond to: ‘Our Country is our home. It is very important to me as it is where I grew up. My identity comes from the land, my dreaming. It tells us where we belong, and how we interact with our mob. It is part of our knowledge, stories, family. It is our culture. Even if we don’t live on country, it shapes who we are. If we don’t have country we have no home. Country is especially important for our children, as it connects them with past generations. It allows us to pass on knowledge from old days to today. It is a bridge connecting us.’

‘Every artwork tells a different and personal story on how important Country and dreaming is. It is powerful to see so many artists working around one idea,’ Karen says.

The exhibition will take over the entire top floor of the Fitzroy gallery space, with an immersive projection displaying remarkable moving image works from Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Art Centre setting the scene upon entry.

This is accompanied by sculptural carvings from Elcho Island artists, Megan Yunupingu and Judy Manany; paintings in ochre from senior Warmun artist, Gordon Barney; vibrant and playful paintings on canvas from Tjarlirli & Kaltukatjara artist, Aaron Pei Pie; and both moving image and painting works by Ngukurr artist and curator, Karen Rogers, accompanying iconic and colourful scenes from fellow Ngukurr artist, Jill Daniels!

‘Some are personal, some sacred, some more fun and modern,’ Karen says of the collection. ‘Mine is about the past and present existing together. It is a very engaging show that you can spend a long time enjoying and learning about each artist, their work and connection to country.’

Our Country’ is also the first Melbourne-based curatorial project for Karen, and the first instance each of these art centres are exhibiting together.

‘For our regular visitors and collectors, it is rare to visit a local gallery – outside of those larger Melbourne institutions – and have an opportunity to engage with work of this calibre,’ Brunswick Street Gallery manager Jacqui Burnes explains.

And for Karen and the artists involved, it represents something much bigger – a hope that visitors will gain a greater understanding of Aboriginal people in remote Australia.

‘When I see the exhibition, I see memories and feel our ancestors are proud of us’ she says. ‘I can feel the energy of all of us coming together – it makes me really proud. All of these art centres coming together, speaking in their own voice and describing their country. I want the whole world to know this.’

See ‘Our Country’ at Brunswick Street Gallery from June 2 until 19. Pre-sale for the artworks are open now! 

Brunswick Street Gallery
Level 1 & 2

322 Brunswick Street
Wurundjeri Country, Fitzroy VIC 

This Week

News

See Ethiopian-Norwegian Artist Olana Janfa's Colourful, Debut Solo Show!

The Melbourne-based painter’s first solo show is opening tonight, exploring themes of language, race and status in his playful works.
Christina Karras

Interiors

How To Turn Home Inspiration Into Reality, With Style Sourcebook

This free web-based mood board tool is the perfect place to refine your interior design vision. We show you how it's done!

Architecture

An Architect + Interior Designer’s Coastal Home, Grounded In Nature

This Sydney family home is like a private treehouse by the beach, with views at every turn, and unexpected interiors.
Christina Karras

News

The Melbourne Label Making Stylish Kids' Wetsuits That Grow On Trees

Fants make kids’ wetsuits from natural rubber that look good and do good.
Sponsored

News

New Melbourne Brand Saule Have Created The Dreamiest Robes, Just In Time For Summer

Local creative Sally Tabart has designed the ultimate robe for the home, beach and beyond – and it’s all made here in Melbourne!
Christina Karras

Gardens

A Sensitively Built Coastal Garden, Designed To Look ‘Untouched’

The Garden Social carefully designed a garden, built into waterfront sand dunes on NSW's South Coast, where the serene seascape beyond takes...
Christina Karras

Shopping

Say Hello To Your New Favourite Summer Shoes With This FRANKiE4 Giveaway!

Everything you need to know for your chance to win one of five pairs of shoes (of your choice!) from Australian label FRANKiE4!

Interiors

A 1915 Horse Stables Turned Family Home In The Adelaide Hills

SpaceCraft transformed a circa 1915 horse stable into a family’s elevated version of a traditional farmhouse in the Adelaide Hills.

Homes

A Tiny Slice Of Japan Inside A Pink Darlinghurst Terrace

Ceramicist Laura Butler shares her 1890s Darlinghurst pink terrace, renovated by Trias in accordance with Japanese design principles.

Stays

Escape To This Magical Tiny Home In The Gold Coast Hinterlands

Step inside an adorable, off-grid getaway on a farm, with 'no distractions', limited phone reception and a wood-fired hot tub.
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Floating House Entangled In Brush Box Trees On North Stradbroke Island

The tree canopy takes precedence over ocean views in this holiday home for three families, designed by Conrad Gargett architects.

Creative People

Meet The Small Melbourne Brand Reinventing The Humble Gumboot

From a humble farm in South Gippsland, Merry People has grown from a grassroots start-up, to a successful brand sold across the globe!
Christina Karras
  17 hours ago

Sustainable Homes

‘Future Ready’: Inside One Of Melbourne’s Newest Sustainable Developments

Mirvac are hoping to encourage sustainable living with their innovative 'future ready' display home in Melbourne's inner west.
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Contemporary Brunswick Addition That Contorts Out Of Sight

A major Brunswick home extension by Lisa Breeze Architect takes its cues from the surrounding neighbourhood and its Edwardian facade.

Interiors

The Central Coast Home Of The Block Alumni Kyal + Kara

The Australian coastal meets Mediterranean family home of former The Block stars Kyal and Kara Demmrich, on the NSW Central Coast.
Amelia Barnes
  9 hours ago

Similar Stories

TDF Collect

TDF Collect Presents: ‘Martumili Artists’

Introducing a group show in collaboration with the incredible Martumili Artists from Newman, Western Australia!

Shopping

Meet The First Nations Artists + Mother-Daughter Duo Behind Miimi And Jiinda

Lauren Jarrett and her daughter Melissa Greenwood share how they create heartfelt art that speaks to their culture as Gumbaynggirr women.⁠...
Christina Karras

Shopping

Breville Brings Aboriginal Art Into The Kitchen With A Landmark Collaboration

Breville’s new collection, an Aboriginal Australian Culinary Journey, adorns six everyday, kitchen objects with incredible Aboriginal artw...
Christina Karras

This Week

Architecture

An Architect + Interior Designer’s Coastal Home, Grounded In Nature

This Sydney family home is like a private treehouse by the beach, with views at every turn, and unexpected interiors.
Christina Karras

Interiors

How To Turn Home Inspiration Into Reality, With Style Sourcebook

This free web-based mood board tool is the perfect place to refine your interior design vision. We show you how it's done!

Gardens

A Sensitively Built Coastal Garden, Designed To Look ‘Untouched’

The Garden Social carefully designed a garden, built into waterfront sand dunes on NSW's South Coast, where the serene seascape beyond takes...
Christina Karras

Interiors

A 1915 Horse Stables Turned Family Home In The Adelaide Hills

SpaceCraft transformed a circa 1915 horse stable into a family’s elevated version of a traditional farmhouse in the Adelaide Hills.

Homes

A Tiny Slice Of Japan Inside A Pink Darlinghurst Terrace

Ceramicist Laura Butler shares her 1890s Darlinghurst pink terrace, renovated by Trias in accordance with Japanese design principles.

Architecture

A Floating House Entangled In Brush Box Trees On North Stradbroke Island

The tree canopy takes precedence over ocean views in this holiday home for three families, designed by Conrad Gargett architects.

News

See Ethiopian-Norwegian Artist Olana Janfa's Colourful, Debut Solo Show!

The Melbourne-based painter’s first solo show is opening tonight, exploring themes of language, race and status in his playful works.
Christina Karras

Shopping

Say Hello To Your New Favourite Summer Shoes With This FRANKiE4 Giveaway!

Everything you need to know for your chance to win one of five pairs of shoes (of your choice!) from Australian label FRANKiE4!

Sustainable Homes

‘Future Ready’: Inside One Of Melbourne’s Newest Sustainable Developments

Mirvac are hoping to encourage sustainable living with their innovative 'future ready' display home in Melbourne's inner west.
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Contemporary Brunswick Addition That Contorts Out Of Sight

A major Brunswick home extension by Lisa Breeze Architect takes its cues from the surrounding neighbourhood and its Edwardian facade.

News

The Melbourne Label Making Stylish Kids' Wetsuits That Grow On Trees

Fants make kids’ wetsuits from natural rubber that look good and do good.
Sponsored

Interiors

The Central Coast Home Of The Block Alumni Kyal + Kara

The Australian coastal meets Mediterranean family home of former The Block stars Kyal and Kara Demmrich, on the NSW Central Coast.
Amelia Barnes
  9 hours ago

Creative People

Meet The Small Melbourne Brand Reinventing The Humble Gumboot

From a humble farm in South Gippsland, Merry People has grown from a grassroots start-up, to a successful brand sold across the globe!
Christina Karras
  17 hours ago

Stays

Escape To This Magical Tiny Home In The Gold Coast Hinterlands

Step inside an adorable, off-grid getaway on a farm, with 'no distractions', limited phone reception and a wood-fired hot tub.
Christina Karras

News

New Melbourne Brand Saule Have Created The Dreamiest Robes, Just In Time For Summer

Local creative Sally Tabart has designed the ultimate robe for the home, beach and beyond – and it’s all made here in Melbourne!
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

TDF Collect

TDF Collect Presents: ‘Martumili Artists’

Introducing our spectacular group show featuring the incredible Martumili Artists from Newman, Western Australia.

Shopping

Meet The First Nations Artists + Mother-Daughter Duo Behind Miimi And Jiinda

This incredible mother-daughter duo share how they create heartfelt art that speaks to their culture as Gumbaynggirr women.⁠
Christina Karras

Shopping

Breville Brings Aboriginal Art Into The Kitchen With A Landmark Collaboration

Breville’s new collection, an Aboriginal Australian Culinary Journey, adorns six everyday, kitchen objects with incredible Aboriginal artw...
Christina Karras

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net