Overview Welcome space Curators’ foreword Artists Essays

Respect and gratitude to the Bunurong/Boon Wurrung peoples on whose lands Bunjil Place Gallery stands. Thank you for the wealth of work you are doing to fulfill your custodial responsibility, to keep your Country and culture strong. We acknowledge that you are the Sovereign peoples of these lands, that your Country was never sold, never swapped, never given.  

The artists and curators of ngaratya (together, us group, all in it together) would like to thank Georgia Cribb and Penny Teale of Bunjil Place Gallery for their unwavering support and encouragement in the realisation of this major project. Without their belief in us we would never have been able to conceive and realise our exhibition ngaratya (together, us group, all in it together). We extend much gratitude also to all at NETS Victoria, most especially Claire Watson and Jessica Row who championed this project, also providing funding (together with Bunjil Place Gallery) to resource our adventures on Country. Our ability to travel as a collective of artists, to learn from Country and each other, has been an incredibly rich experience and a gift that keeps on giving.  

All at NETS and Bunjil Place Gallery who worked with us to secure our tour, thank you for the many hours spent together writing applications. Thank you to Visions of Australia who awarded us substantial funding to work closely with NETS to take ngaratya on the road.  We also acknowledge and thank all at the City of Casey and the entire team at Bunjil Place Gallery for their hard work and dedication, most especially Sarah Lyons, Catherine Bennetts-Cash, Jessica Moody, Kirsten Macalpine, Leah Nathan, Ivan Wong, Kellin van der Velden and Angela Barnett, ExhibitOne installers, Matt Lim and everyone behind the scenes who assisted in bringing ngaratya to life.  

We are deeply grateful to Madeline Critchley and Jaxsun Plumley for their patience and understanding as we all worked our way through our needs and requirements for 2D and 3D design. Jax and Madeline worked as a design powerhouse, enabling our ideas and vision to soar. Thank you for taking the time to listen and to hear what we needed, our show is truly beautiful because of your love, care, respect, perfectionism, tenacity and incredible trouble-shooting. Special thanks to Annette Allman and Sorse Gallery for expert last-minute sewing assistance and kind support.  

The curators extend deep respect and admiration to the artists for coming on this journey, for your generosity and care and for sharing your insight and intellect throughout the whole project and, of course, for your impressive works. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Uncle Badger Bates and Aunty Sarah Martin for ongoing care, guidance, knowledge, generosity and cultural support. 

The opportunity to work towards sharing our stories through this major touring exhibition required much time away to enable the creative development of this project. The artists would collectively like to thank their families for their love and support and for enabling them to travel and to develop and create. Without the support and understanding of our loved ones we could not have realised ngaratya.  

Our families and our Country mean the world to us. We would like to acknowledge our time spent on Country and the many community members who assisted us with advice, permissions and accommodation, for sharing knowledge and time. In particular Fiona Kelly and Jan Fennell of Menindee. Heartfelt thanks to Leroy Johnson and all Traditional Owners of Mutawintji National Park. Thanks to Mark Sutton – tour guide extraordinaire of Mutawintji Heritage Tours who made us so welcome and shared valuable knowledge. Thanks to Bernie O’Donnell, Cameron Philp and Angela Bates who shared precious time with us at Mutawintji Gorge. Thanks to Evelyn Dutton, Lee Kerwin, Mutawintji Local Aboriginal Land Council and Land Care Broken Hill for allowing our participation in the revegetation project at Mutawintji. Thanks to Menindee Central School principal Fiona Kelly and art teacher Rick Ball, and to Wilcannia Central School for hosting us and enabling us to share our journey with students. A huge thank you to Uncle Leroy Johnson and the Waterbag Band for travelling to Melbourne to launch the exhibition and introducing guests to Barkandji/Barkindji Country through their soulful music. Adrianne Semmens would also like to thank Australian Dance Theatre (ADT) and Aunty Barbara Quayle. Zena would like to give a special thank you to Emma Barnes for her linocut lessons, expert advice, assistance with printing and for working alongside Zena to develop the education resource. Love and thanks to Susanne Gray for generously providing some of the sedge used to make the string, nets and the bush bananas. Thanks to Jessyca Hutchens for editing ngayi essays and Maddi Miller for supporting us with recordings. Thanks to Luke and all at Arten, Elite Picture Framing and Chris Weverling of ProLab Imaging. Huge thank you to Eugene Howard, Siri Hayes and Leilani from InPlace Garambi Baan Laughing Waters artist residency where Zena was afforded time, space and beautiful surrounds to create her karkala (bush bananas). Big thanks to Christian Capurro, Michael Haines, Cobie Orger, Bri Hammond, Bridget Mac and Alex Rosenblum for sensitively documenting the artists’ works and our exhibition. Thank you to Ecodynamics Nursery for generously donating river mint to share with Bunjil Place visitors. Thank you to the Mitchell Library for providing permissions to use the Frederic Bonney image.  

Special mention and perhaps ‘best on ground’ must go to artists David Doyle and Raymond Zada in recognition of the many extra roles they played outside of their contributing artist guernsey. As a resident of Broken Hill and an important community member in our cultural landscape David took time to liaise with community members to help to organise many aspects of our trips and accommodation on several journeys. We are also grateful for David’s generous sharing of his incredible plant knowledge on Country. Raymond made the soundscape of Country as well as the beautiful Baaka Herald and continuously used his incredible tech and problem-solving skills to help each of us overcome obstacles many, many times. We love you and appreciate your generosity and care so much.  

Our sincere thanks for the ongoing support of Dr Nick Mitzevich, Dr Jonathan Jones, Genevieve O’Callaghan, Tara Callaghan, Blake Griffiths, Hester Lyon, Darren Parker,  Joshua de Gruchy, The Orbweavers and Otis Filley. ngaratya (together, us group, all in it together) is a Bunjil Place Gallery exhibition which will tour nationally over several years thanks to the generosity and support of a number of organisations including National Exhibitions Touring Support (NETS) Victoria supported by Creative Victoria and the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program. Our touring venues include: Broken Hill City Art Gallery, Queensland University of Technology Art Museum, Mildura Art Centre and Flinders University Museum of Art.

National Exhibitions Touring Support (NETS) Victoria is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and through the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments. NETS Victoria also receives significant in-kind support from the National Gallery of Victoria.  

Last but not least, we acknowledge our Barkandji/Barkindji Country as our Mother, as the repository of all knowledge. We thank her for giving us all that we need, for keeping us safe, for illuminating pathways and connections to hold us and to steer our journeys. We acknowledge and give thanks to our community, our Ancestors, and our old people who walk with us – yesterday, today and tomorrow.  Power and respect to all Barkandji/Barkindji mob who have tirelessly fought for our Baaka, for culture and for Country over time. Solidarity and power to all First Peoples and heartfelt respect and gratitude to all Traditional Custodians of the lands our exhibition will visit. 

Always Was Always Will Be. 

Explore the full exhibition at ngaratya.com.au

Exhibition Partners 

Exhibition Supporter

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program as well as receiving development assistance from NETS Victoria’s Exhibition Development Fund, supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.  

NETS Victoria Supporters 

National Exhibitions Touring Support (NETS) Victoria is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, by the Australian Government through the Creative Australia, its arts funding and advisory body, and through the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments. NETS Victoria also receives significant in-kind support from the National Gallery of Victoria.