AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY - BEIRUT - Canning Stock Route Exhibition

Australian Ambassador Miles Opens Exhibition of Indigenous Australian Art




AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY - BEIRUT

Australian Ambassador Miles Opens Exhibition of Indigenous Australian Art

On 9 July, Australian Ambassador His Excellency Mr Glenn Miles opened an exhibition of Indigenous Australian art Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route.

The exhibition is part of a celebration of NAIDOC week, the annual celebration of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islands peoples in Australia.

“This year, we are shining a light on the key role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played and continue to play in all walks of life in Australian society,” said Ambassador Miles.

“We are pleased that a number of female artists, including Kumpaya Girgaba, are included in this exhibition.”

Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route was a joint initiative between the National Museum of Australia and FORM, an independent arts organization based in Perth, Western Australia.

 

The exhibit is named after the Canning Stock Route, which was first surveyed in 1906 and runs nearly 2000 kilometers through northern Western Australia.

“This exhibition tells the story of the stock route’s impact on Aboriginal people through the works of senior and emerging artists and the stories of traditional custodians,” said Ambassador Miles.

“It reveals the richness of desert life, and tells the stories of people and places, of the clash of cultures, survival and resilience, and both sacred and secular histories.”

The exhibition runs from 10 to 15 July at the Beirut Souks “Gold Souks”. Opening hours are: 12 noon to 8pm Tuesday to Friday; 10am to 6pm on Saturday; 12 noon to 6pm on Sunday.

  

Australian Ambassador Speech His Excellency Glenn Miles

Canning Stock Route Exhibition

9 July 2018

In Australia, our custom is to begin any formal speech by a ‘Welcome to Country’ – an acknowledgement of the traditional custodians of the region in which we meet, in recognition of their continuing connection to land, waters and community.

So, to begin, I would also like to acknowledge our Lebanese hosts whose connections to this land are evidenced through their own strong love for this beautiful country - Lebanon.

It is a pleasure to welcome you here today to open this exhibition of indigenous Australian art “Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route”.

The Canning Stock Route exhibit was a joint initiative between the National Museum of Australia and FORM, an independent arts organisation based in Perth, Western Australia.

The exhibit is named after the Canning Stock Route, which was first surveyed in 1906 and runs nearly 2000 kilometers through northern Western Australia. 

Stock routes have a key place in Australian folk-law. They were essentially a defined route through public property, with access to waters and grasslands, that allowed cattle to be driven long-distances between the remote cattle country of northern Australia, and the major markets down south.

 

The Canning Stock Route is the longest stock route in the world, and, to give you an idea, it covers the same distance as from Beirut to Musqat in Oman. 

There are only two small and remote settlements on the journey, a journey which took the stock several months to make.  Even today, in a four-wheel drive, the trip requires considerable planning and logistical preparation and takes around 15 days.

It takes in beautiful, if rugged and harsh, scenery, traversing the Gibson Desert, Little Sandy Desert and the Great Sandy Desert.   It also runs through 4 determined native title areas - Tjurabalan, Ngurrara, Martu and Birriliburu and the area around Wiluna. 

The creation of the Canning Stock route had a dramatic impact on Indigenous peoples of the region, much of it negative as the stock used their water wells.  But many aboriginal people found work as stockmen in the pastoral industry.

In this way, the Canning Stock route is a place where Indigenous and non-Indigenous histories intersect.

This exhibition tells the story of the stock route’s impact on Aboriginal people through the works of senior and emerging artists and the stories of Australia’s traditional custodians.

It reveals the richness of desert life, and tells the stories of people and places, of the clash of cultures, survival and resilience, and both sacred and secular histories.

The exhibition is part of a celebration of NAIDOC week, the annual celebration of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islands peoples in Australia.

This year, we are shining a light on the key role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played and continue to play in all walks of life in Australian society.

For 65,000 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders women have enriched the world’s oldest continuing culture by carrying dreaming stories, songlines, languages and knowledge.

Today, we are pleased that a number of female artists, including Kum-pay-a Gir-gab-a, are included in this exhibition.

Thank you for joining us this evening, and we look forward to sharing the enjoyment of these beautiful paintings with you.


 














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