Jacky Green, Sean Kerins, Therese Ritchie

17 February to 17 March 2018

Through painting, portrait photography and a historic timeline graphic, artists Jacky Green (Borroloola and Visiting Indigenous Fellow at the ANU) and Therese Ritchie (Darwin), together with Sean Kerins (CAEPR Fellow at ANU), give voice and political determination to the Garawa, Gudanji, Marra and Yanyuwa peoples from the Borroloola area of the southwest Gulf of Carpentaria region of the Northern Territory, in their long struggle against pernicious development projects that detrimentally affect their lives and contaminate their ancestral countries.

In Therese Ritchie’s dramatic black and white photographs, her subjects chose words such as “My country”, “cut open” and “sovereignty” to paint boldly on their bare chests, arms. By these means, they aim to spread awareness about the environmental and social impacts that exploitative mining has had on their land and community.

Image right: Jacky Green, Yee-haw, Money trucks, 2017, 87 x 100cm, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy the artist   
Image left: Therese Ritchie, Cain O’Keefe, 2017, digital print on Ilford Monofibre Silk, 84 x 56cm. Courtesy the artist 

Yee-haw Money trucks
Year after year mining trucks keep taking the minerals from our country. The miners cut our river and diverted its waters to dig at the resting place of the Rainbow Snake. Year after year, hour on hour, the trucks haul the minerals away. They take all the Spirit from the country. They take wealth from our country, leaving behind a huge open cut pit and toxic waste rock pile for us to clean up. They cut-open the guts of the Snake and left us with the mess. We hurt when we see those trucks driving through our country. Just like the cowboys scream Yee-haw at the rodeo I imagine the miners riding their trucks across our country screaming, “Yee-haw, I’m rich, Fuck you!”

Jack Green / Therese Ritchie / Sean Kerins

Jack Green / Therese Ritchie / Sean Kerins

Jack Green / Therese Ritchie / Sean Kerins

Stewart Hoosan (Garawa) reflects on how, over the past 140 years, European development projects have resulted in the killing of his people and the poisoning of Country.

Nancy McDinny (Garawa) asks why her Country carries the name of the man who masterminded the massacre of her ancestors.