Past Exhibitions at Kluge-Ruhe

Nici Cumpston: having-been-there

Nici Cumpston, Leopard Tree II, 2011.January 17 – May 18, 2014

This exhibition featured the photographs of Nici Cumpston (Adelaide), an artist and curator of Barkindji, Afghan, Irish and English heritage. having-been-there is a series of images created by Cumpston that documents the evidence of Aboriginal occupation in Australia before European settlement. Cumpston uses tree engravings, ring trees, and remnants of stone tools abound in Barkindji land; these act as subtle signifiers of the ancestors that once lived in and created the country, and of food and water sources that ensured survival. Further, they serve as undeniable proof of Aboriginal people “having been there,” before and amidst the colonial assertion of terra nullius, the idea that Australia was a “land without people.” Additionally, they are records of the Murray-Darling Basin river system’s natural beauty, as well as its gradual destruction from pollution, salination, and re-routing. A film on Cumpston’s residency can be found here.

Click here to download a copy of the brochure that accompanied the exhibition.

Presented in partnership with Australia Council for the Arts.

David Bosun: Ngau Gidthal (My Stories)

David Bosun, Baidamaw Titui Buna Urdhay Id, 2012.September 6 – December 29, 2013

David Bosun (Mualgal) is a printmaker and woodcarer from Moa Island in the Torres Strait. Through linoleum and woodblock prints, Bosun’s Ngau Gidthal (My Stories) illustrated the ancestral traditions of the Mualgal people. These traditions ranged from seasonal indicators used in ancient hunting practices to the significance of the constellations within the celestial sphere. In 2000, Bosun was chosen by elders as one of four artists to begin recording stories in the form of printmaking. This marked the first time that traditional stories took visual form since the loss of their material culture to missionaries and collectors a century earlier. Known for its strong figurative imagery and intricate design, or minaral, Bosun’s work reflects Melanesian influences inspired through longstanding trade between Torres Strait Islanders and coastal Papua New Guineans. A film on Bosun’s residency can be found here.

Presented in partnership with the Australian Art Print Network, Australia Council for the Arts, and Ngalmun Lagau Minaral Arts-Art of Mua Island Torres Strait.

Black Prints from Cicada Press

Brett Nannup, Self-Portrait, 2012.May 31 – August 18, 2013

Black Prints from Cicada Press provided glimpses into the art practices of a variety of artists from across Australia. Some of the artworks were narrative-based, with stories of memory, identity and tradition. Others are considered conceptual art, albeit with a particular Australian Aboriginal twist. The title is a wordplay on the Australian childhood obsession of collecting cicada carcasses during summer months. “Green Grocers” are the most common type of cicadas in eastern Australia, and many of their carcasses can be traded in for just one carcass of the rare and highly prized “Black Prince.” Cicada Press is an educationally-focused printmaking workshop that places emphasis on open dialogue and the importance of lived experience in learning. Since 2006, it has invited emerging and established Aboriginal artists to explore printmaking as an artistic practice through workshops and residencies. This exhibition featured prints by artists such as Gordon Hookey, Vernon Ah Kee, Reko Rennie and Laurel Nannup.

Click here to view a panorama of this exhibition.
Click here to download a copy of the brochure that accompanied the exhibition.

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