Travelling Bungaree, installation view, 2015.
ArtsPeople recently worked with UTS ART, alongside the Jumbanna Institute, to assist in producing Living in Their Times. This engaging and informative multidisciplinary program reflected on the lineage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination and activism that both preceded and followed the landmark 1967 Referendum, in which Australians voted to formally remove passages from the Australian constitution that discriminated against Aboriginal people. Curated by Djon Mundine OAM, the program activated several sites across the UTS campus with diverse stories to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum, while bringing a range of audiences to learn about or share their own stories!
The program included a restaging of Bungaree’s Farm, an immersive and captivating three channel video installation reflecting on the life of Bungaree, an important Aboriginal figure in colonial Australia and the first person to be referred to as an ‘Australian’. First staged at Mosman Art Gallery in 2015, this unique collaborative project led by Djon Mundine OAM explored the legacy of Bungaree through contributions by leading contemporary Indigenous artists including Daniel Boyd, Jason Wing, Peter McKenzie, Leanne Tobin, Amala Groom, BLAK Douglas (Adam Hill), Leah Flanagan, Sandy Woods, Chantelle Woods, Caroline Oakley, Bjorn Stewart, Karla Dickens and Warwick Keen.
Accompanying Bungaree’s Farm was a film program of shorts, documentaries and features curated by filmmaker and programmer Pauline Clague. This film selection dove deeper into the diverse lives and times of Aboriginal people in the fight for self-determination and the continuation of sovereignty.
Another part of the program was a curated a display of dynamic and vibrant works by the late Robert Campbell Jnr. (1944-1993), whose work captured his experience of discrimination growing up and living in the mid-North Coast region of New South Wales. These works were displayed alongside large-scale suspended puppet figures inspired by Campbell Jnr.’s iconic paintings of Marbuck and Jedda, creating a monumental presence in the central foyer of the UTS Tower building.