Koolanga Boodja Neh Nidjuk (Children Listening and Looking on Country, Installation view, Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University 2019.

Carrolup art returns to the United States

In April selected pieces of the Herbert Mayer Collection of Carrolup Artwork returned to their former home at Colgate University in Upstate New York as part of a special exhibition to mark the 200th anniversary of that university. John Curtin Gallery Director, Chris Malcolm, accompanied senior Curtin staff and Noongar elders to Colgate University to share the story of the artwork, and its significance to Noongar culture.

The visitors were welcomed by Oneida Nation Bear Clan Representative Brian Patterson with a traditional blessing, and there was a very powerful response to the exhibition at Colgate’s Picker Gallery.  The discovery of the works at Colgate in 2004 and the University’s decision nine years later to return them to Noongar country, have lead to cherished and ongoing relationships between Curtin, Colgate and the Noongar community.

Curtin University is deeply committed to sharing the Collection with both the Noongar community and audiences around the world, connecting with the stories of other First Nations people and helping individuals everywhere understand the intergenerational consequences of dispossession, discrimination and disempowerment.

The JCG is now working on plans to tour selected artworks in London in 2020, to coincide with the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s first landing in Australia.