Mornington Island

The Heart of Everything, 1 March – 30 April 2011
Tim Melville Gallery is pleased to present, in association with the the AUCKLAND ARTS FESTIVAL, a new exhibition of Aboriginal painting from Mornington & Bentinck Islands.

"At the heart of everything is the land. It is the way we think and feel about the land that makes us Aboriginal." Larry Lanley (1927 - 1981) Chairman: Mornington Island Council

In this exhibition, 15 artists from Far North Queensland illustrate the intimate connection between their people and the land through two distinct painting practices.
Mornington Island's Lardil people are known for the dynamic body paint designs worn by their dancers. Each 'paint-up' is inherited via complex kinship systems from designs painted on the chests of Spirit Ancestors during the Creation era.
Artists have begun to translate these extraordinary abstract designs onto canvas, initially as a 'doorway to the ancestors' for the island's young people.

Adding their voices to this dialogue are the vibrant landscapes of the Kaiadilt women of neighbouring Bentinck Island, including 86-year-old Sally Gabori, who began painting to explore abstract representations of her country.
Sharing this pride in telling stories through painting with her extended family, Gabori sparked a small but important community movement.

The graphic designs and exhilaratingly coloured landscapes of the Mornington & Bentinck Island artists express the continuing vitality of Aboriginal culture and belief.
Tim Melville Gallery is grateful to MORNINGTON ISLAND ART for their support in bringing this exhibition to New Zealand.

Sally Gabori (Kaiadilt)
Amanda Gabori (Kaiadilt)
May Moodoonuthi (Kaiadilt)
Paula Paul (Kaiadilt)

Dorita Escott (Yangaal)
Lance Gavenor (Yangaal)
Billy Kooraubabba (Lardil)
Annika Roughsey (Lardil)
Joseph Watt (Lardil)
John Williams (Lardil)
Joyanne Williams (Lardil)
Wayne Williams (Lardil)
Reggie Robertson (Gangalidda)

This exhibition has been supported by the Queensland Government, Australia through the Queensland Indigenous Arts Marketing Export Agency (QIAMEA). QIAMEA promotes Queensland's Indigenous arts industry through marketing and export activity throughout Australia and internationally.