It’s time to wake up that Ngurrara Canvas – Parnkijarrinyu Ngurrara

Monday, 5 June 2017
Peter Murray
Terry Murray
Marmingee Hand
Joseph Nuggett
Irene Jimbidie

In 1997 more than 40 Traditional Owners and Desert Artists travelled to the Kimberley’s Pirnirni to paint a map of their homelands on a large, integrated canvas measuring eight by five metres. Featuring significant places and waterholes (jila, jumu), the artists and their families visually, jurally, spiritually and orally recorded stories that ten years later provided substantial evidence in the eventual success of their Ngurrara Native Title Claim, and later establishment of a PBC. 
Two decades later, Traditional Owners and their families have decided to, in the words of Marmingee Hand, ‘wake up’ the canvas again by carefully removing it from storage at Mangkaja Arts in Fitzroy Crossing to bring the stories into the public domain for future generations. 
Twenty-five years after the Mabo Decision, this celebratory presentation will focus on the making and meaning of the original artwork, cultural mapping, and the contemporary aspirations of the Ngurrara Working Group as they undertake a two-way working process to re-vitalise knowledge, honour their ancestors, and sustainably look after their Country for the future.