Exhibition of leading Kuninjku artist comes to Tweed Regional Gallery

Gallery presents John Mawrundjul: I am the old and the new

Friday 3 July, 2020

Following its critically acclaimed presentation at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA), John Mawurndjul: I am the old and the new will open at Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre on Friday 10 July 2020.

John Mawurndjul AM is celebrated for his mastery of rarrk (cross-hatching) and his depiction of djang (sacred sites), a tradition shared by generations of Kuninjku artists. Bark paintings and sculptures drawn from private and public collections tell the stories of Kuninjku culture and the significant locations surrounding the artist's home in central north Arnhem Land. 

In close collaboration with the MCA and AGSA curatorial teams, Mawurndjul led curatorial decisions and assisted in selecting the most significant artworks from his career. He was instrumental in determining the exhibition structure, which is grouped by places - or kunred - then animals and spirits, mimih, lorrkkon and etchings. The concept of kunred informs the artist's practice, both in the materials used such as the bark of the tree, natural earth pigments and charcoal and in the representation of ideas critical to an understanding of Kuninjku culture.

"This exhibition recognises John Mawurndjul as one of Australia's most important artists and his contribution to the history of art and painting. The MCA has had a long-standing relationship with the artist, and we are very proud to have collaborated with the Art Gallery of South Australia to develop this landmark exhibition," MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE said.

Language is an important component of this presentation, with bilingual texts embedded throughout the exhibition design - from the didactics and labels available in Kuninjku, to translated texts featured in the catalogue and on the website.

"We are thrilled to be able to bring this significant exhibition to the region. We hope that through the beauty of Mawurndjul's art, and the extensive research that went into this exhibition, audiences will gain a deep understanding of the living history and culture of the Kuninjku people and their country," Gallery Director Susi Muddiman OAM said.

John Mawurndjul: I am the old and the new will continue until Sunday 13 September. 

With physical distancing measures in place, visitors can view the exhibition along with other works by booking a free timed ticket through the Gallery's website. To book a ticket, visit https://trgmoac.eventbrite.com.au   

Follow Tweed Regional Gallery on Facebook and Instagram to find out about upcoming digital programs that will be presented in conjunction with the exhibition. 

Media images accessible via Dropbox here