Featured News Exhibit provides Insights into connections with arts and culture

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Fri, 14 Jun 2024

Exhibit provides Insights into connections with arts and culture

Michael Cook, Majority Rule [Bridge], 2014. Inkjet print on paper, ed. 4/8, 84 x 120 cm. Donated through the Australian Cultural Gifts Program by Caroline O'Rorke and Bruce Forbes Graham for the James Cook University Art Collection in 2023. Reproduced with permission. Michael Cook, 2024. Photo by Through the Looking Glass Studio.

James Cook University is hosting its annual Eddie Koiki Mabo Library Art Exhibition presenting works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from the JCU Art Collection.

JCU Library Special Collections Manager Bronwyn McBurnie said the exhibition marks the anniversary of the official naming of the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library at the Bebegu Yumba (Townsville) campus in May 2008.

‘‘The Exhibition also celebrates the connection between the Mabo story and JCU,’’ Mrs McBurnie said.

‘‘This year’s exhibition has been titled Insights and we’re so pleased to once again have endorsement from the exhibition’s patron, Gail Mabo

“We hope to shine a light on just some of the artworks by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in the University art collection.

‘‘These wonderful works, mostly by artists from the North, form a significant and growing component of our collection.”

Mrs McBurnie said Insights provides an understanding of the meaning and significance behind each artwork along with details about the artists who created them.

‘‘Up until July 26, the walls and cabinets of the ground and first floors of the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library will be home to 26 artworks by 23 artists.

‘‘We invite the community to view these pieces so they can gain an appreciation of the breadth and diversity of artworks produced by Australian Indigenous artists and collected by the University for the benefit of everyone who visits JCU’s campuses and sites’’ Mrs McBurnie said.

‘‘The types of artworks on display include graphic, representational and abstract landscape, animal, plant and human forms in paintings, prints, photography, sculpture and, a connected display or related publications and materials in the cabinets located on level one.’’

Mrs McBurnie said when you start looking at the artworks, you see connections and reconnections with culture are explored through their imagery and shared through the stories the artworks tell.

‘‘Through the exhibition we recognise and acknowledge Indigenous custodianship of Country and aim to draw attention to their cultural and artistic knowledge and practices.’’

Library Director Helen Hooper said each year the Mabo Art Exhibition gives staff, students and visitors time to pause and reflect on the Library’s history and celebrate its naming.

‘‘JCU’s Library has a rich history of supporting Australian Indigenous artists of northern Queensland and celebrating their achievements,’’ Ms Hooper said.

Artists featured in the Insights exhibition include:

  • James Billy
  • Michael Cook
  • Karen Doolan
  • James Doyle
  • Larrtjanga Ganambarr
  • Goobalathaldin (Dick Roughsey)
  • Gail Mabo
  • Narritjin Maymuru
  • Arone Meeks
  • Rosella Namok
  • Susan Peters Nampitjin
  • Tommy Pau
  • Jeannie Mills Pwerle
  • Brian Robinson
  • Teho Ropeyarn
  • Joel Sam
  • Bai Tapau
  • Thanakupi (Gloria Fletcher Thancoupie)
  • Alick Tipoti
  • Clare Jaque Vasquez
  • Judy Watson
  • Aicey Zaro

To plan your visit to the exhibition, check out the library opening hours on the JCU Library website.

The JCU Art Collection is managed by JCU Library Services and includes more than 1000 individual works located across JCU’s campuses - Bebegu Yumba (Townsville), Nguma-bada (Cairns), Murtupuni campus (Mount Isa), Ngulaigau Mudh (Thursday Island), and Ngudya Yamba (Mackay).

Explore the collection further on the NQHeritage@JCU website.


Media enquiries: erin.goldsack@jcu.edu.au