Penrith Regional Gallery and The Lewers Bequest will be opening the award-winning national touring exhibition suite Black Mist Burnt Country, Saturday
26 May 2pm.
The Winter exhibition Black Mist Burnt Country features artwork from over 30 Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists commemorating the British atomic tests in Australia in the 1950s.
Black Mist Burnt Country revisits the history of the British atomic test program at Maralinga, Emu Field and Montebello Islands and examines
the impact on people and land, as well as its on-going legacies.
Selected from public and private collections the exhibition features artworks from the past seven decades: Included are Arthur Boyd, Ian Howard, Pam Debenham, Toni Robertson, Rosemary Laing alongside Aboriginal artists such as Jonathan Kumintjarra Brown, Judy Watson, Hilda Moodoo, Yvonne Edwards and others.
Presenting works across the mediums of painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, new media and music, while exploring the varied perspectives and
creative approaches of artists from post-WWII modernists to present-day artists.
A variety of interactive elements enable visitors to the exhibition to gain insights into the social, political and environmental dimensions, while placing
the Australian atomic tests in the context of the nuclear arms race and its present-day realities.
“It is surprising how few people are aware that atomic bombs were exploded in Australia, and how little they know about the dislocation of Aboriginal people, the exposure of Australian servicemen and the contamination of the land. This exhibition offers some remarkable insights into a chapter of our history that has long-lasting consequences, while it poses some important questions in relation to contemporary nuclear issues,” says JD Mittmann, exhibition curator.
Local resident, the late Jim Henderson worked for the Australian Military at the testing zone and a recording of his first-hand
experiences will accompany the exhibition generating additional poignancy.
Black Mist Burnt Country received the 2017 Museums Australia Victoria Archival Survival Award (Small Museums) and a Highly Commended at the Museums Australia National Conference (Touring
and Temporary Exhibitions).
The project has been produced by Burrinja, Dandenong Ranges Cultural Centre, Upwey, Victoria. The project has been
assisted by the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program and developed through the Exhibition Development Fund of National Exhibition Touring Support (NETS) Victoria. The project has also received financial assistance of Gordon Darling Foundation.
Winter Exhibition Suite Opens
Black Mist Burnt Country
Testing the Bomb. Maralinga and Australian Art
For more information, visit www.blackmistburntcountry.com.au
Penrith Regional Gallery http://www.penrithregionalgallery.org/exhibitions/whatson
Open daily 9am – 5pm admission is free. 86 River Road Emu Plains, www.penrithregionalgallery.org.
Slider: 'Road to Maralinga II' by Karen Standke, part of the Black Mist Burnt Country touring
Pic: (Top) 'One Tree' by Paul Ogier. (Bottom) 'Prohibited Area' by Adam Norton.
Instalments from the Black Mist Burnt Country touring exhibition.