Unsilenced is Kyra Mancktelow's first major solo exhibition. It incorporates a series of prints, sculpture, ceramics, and weavings. The exhibition exposes untold histories of Australia. It showcases the unique way the artist and other Indigenous people view the world through distinct ways of life such as land, law, and ceremony.
As a Quandamooka woman with links to Mardigan of Connamulla and Vanuatu, South Sea Islander people, heritage and family are central to my practice. Printmaking is a prominent method used in my creative practice, through which I like to explore my cultural history, traditions, and identity.
A few Australians are being told how their own sugar industry was created by the sweat of our enslaved ancestors. This lino cut explores the Blackbirding slave trade of South Sea Islanders. With my ancestors being taken from Vanuatu and brought to Far North Queensland, I share a common story with many other descendants whose ancestors were taken, kidnapped, tricked and forced off the South Pacific Islands. Throughout the making process I engaged with some of the South See Islander community allowing them to make their mark by carving into the lino and by doing so we are revealing an image of our ancestors working in the cane fields. Revealing this image to the viewer recognises what was endured starting from he 1860s. This is Australia’s past that needs to be recognised for a future of healing for our people.
The abiding these of my art practices is bringing forth the untold histories of Australia, allowing for a greater recognition of the truth.