A new exhibition at The University of Western Australia’s Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery will explore the life and legacy of Ngarinyin Lawman, Elder and artist Bungal (David) Mowaljarlai, OAM (c.1925-1997).
A philosopher, artist, activist, storyteller, bush professor and statesman, Mowaljarlai was a major figure throughout the 20th century and a distinguished advocate for the land rights and culture of the Kimberley Wandjina people.
Running between 23 April and 17 September, Mowaljarlai Vision and Voice exhibition will draw on the personal and professional archives of David Mowaljarlai, recently donated to the University’s Berndt Museum collection by two of his close friends and collaborators.
Mowaljarlai Vision and Voice curator and Berndt Museum archivist Eve Chaloupka worked closely with the collection donors to arrange and describe the archive material that makes up much of the exhibition.
Ms Chaloupka said David Mowaljarlai guided his people with determination and a great force of will through complex colonial relationships and the momentous changes imposed upon them.
This included forced re-settlement hundreds of kilometres away from their country to Mowanjum near Derby, in the 1950s.
“His enduring legacy is evident in his tireless commitment to the intergenerational transfer of knowledge among his own people, and the sharing of knowledge across cultures,” Ms Chaloupka said.
“The material he left behind provides an insight into his influence and knowledge and will be a valued resource accessible to future generations of Ngarinyin people.
“Through taped conversations, artwork, photography, videos and more Mowaljarlai Visions and Voice will introduce Perth audiences to Mowaljarlai’s extensive cultural reach and major role in research in the western Kimberley.”
Entry to the exhibition is free.
John McCarten (UWA Cultural Precinct Marketing Officer) (+61 4) 03 900 193
Clare McFarlane (UWA Marketing Assistant Cultural Precinct) (+61 8) 6488 7806
Jess Reid (UWA Media and PR Officer) (+61 8) 6488 6876