An exhibition of paintings and prints by Gail Mabo on behalf of JCU Library and Information Services.
Reflections: 25 years on, is a body of artworks by Gail Mabo reflecting on her artistic development.
For Gail Mabo, 2017 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of two significant events.
On 3 June 1992, the High Court of Australia upheld the land rights claim led by her father, Eddie Koiki Mabo. Poignantly, Eddie had died just months earlier on 21 January.
The significance of these events is enhanced by occurring 50 years after the 1967 referendum that succeeded in removing from the constitution two references discriminating against indigenous Australians. Gail’s exhibition of new works and earlier pieces are a reflection of the changes witnessed over this passage of time in a broader sense, but also of her own personal growth as an artist.
The Eddie Koiki Mabo Library Art Exhibition is held on the anniversary of the naming of the University Library on the Townsville Campus after Eddie Koiki Mabo (b. June 29, 1936 - d. January 21, 1992) - a Torres Strait Islander activist, and former JCU staff member and student.
Eddie Koiki Mabo was one of the most important historical figures to have spent time at the University. Employed at JCU as a groundsman, he was also a student, guest lecturer, and colleague and friend of JCU staff and students.
Several catalysing moments that led to the Mabo cases are acknowledged to have occurred at the University. These include conversations with his friends, the historians Henry Reynolds and Noel Loos; and a 1981 conference where he delivered a speech that sparked the interest of lawyers (Butt, Eagleson & Lane, 2001; Loos & Mabo, 2013; Screen Australia Digital Learning, 2008; Sharp, 1996). In 2008, JCU Vice-Chancellor, Sandra Harding noted that the naming of the library will “forever commemorate the link between the man who changed the land laws in Australia and James Cook University.”
The Mabo Library building is open to the public and the exhibition - held in 2017 from 19 May to 12 June - is accessible to all visitors to view, free of charge.