Christopher Watt, 'My Country', 2020, 41cm in diameter, acrylic on canvas
"My Country is Baralkia on Mornington Island."
Catalogue Number: 322-20
Art Centre Information:
Mirndiyan Gununa Aboriginal Corporation, Mornington Island Art, is one of the longest established art and cultural organisations in Aboriginal Australia. Situated in the remote Gulf of Carpentaria, northern Australia and fully owned and controlled by an Indigenous Board, Mirndiyan Gununa has an Indigenous majority staff all focussed on delivering locally relevant programs that produce internationally significant artwork.
Mornington Island artists are heavily influenced and connected to their Land and Culture in their artistic interpretations. Their remoteness means the artists concentrate heavily on cultural and spiritual subject matter – all centred on connection to Country
The artists work in many different mediums, from painting to music and dance to story telling. Language is integral to all creative activities at the Art Centre and the primary purpose of the Mirndiyan Gununa is to maintain and develop the cultures of the Lardil and Kaiadilt people by strengthening the Community and promoting the unique Cultures to the rest of the world.
MIArt studio on Mornington Island is a place of shared Culture and creativity – a place where stories are told and memories are kept alive. Joyful and exuberant and always tinged with the sadness of histories, the personal and Family histories stretching back and back. Country is the location as much as it is the heritage and the abiding subject matter of the artists. These artists confidently tell their stories about their families’ deep-rooted connections to the Old People that results in works of outstanding beauty and clarity because Culture is strong and central to everything.
The richness and vibrancy in these paintings, by both the established artists and the new generations of emerging artists sharing and learning together, show that living in a remote Community doesn’t mean being out of touch.