Emerging Queensland artists Kyra Mancktelow and Dylan Mooney bring together printmaking and sculpture to explore their connection to Country.
Each applying a unique and distinct aesthetic, Continuous / Unbroken Bonds investigates long-lasting legacies of colonialism, asking questions such as how we remember and how we acknowledge First Nations histories. The exhibition includes two installations of new work by each artist.
Dylan presents Away from Country II & Gulmari – a series of wooden shields and watercolours. ‘Remaking shields is my way of repatriating my ancestors' objects from [museum] collections. These shields hold thousands of stories from the region’s first peoples. These shields were used for combat, protection, deflecting, and weapons.’ The original shields are now scattered across thew world in museums, but Dylan’s work brings them back to the community.
Kyra presents Jundal & Giba (young girl & young boy) – a series of garments and prints that recreate the 1896 uniforms worn by First Nations children who were forcibly removed from their families and placed in Moongalba Mission on Stradbroke Island. 'During this time there was a significant story to be told. Before going ahead and creating these uniforms I made sure I sat down with one of my elders and asked for permission to create these uniforms, how I wanted to create them and of course for what reason.'
'The material I used to create these uniforms is called Tarleton, a printmaking fabric that we use to take away colour from an etching plate. I chose this material because it represents that attempt of Assimilation and taking away identity, culture, traditions. Instead of using this material to take away colour, I rub colour back into the uniforms/material and bring back that sense of strong cultural ways traditions knowledges of my people.'
In this way, her work pays tribute to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and their families who were forcibly relocated to missions during the 19th and 20th centuries.