Cover image of the review
Installation view of Fortuna Gold, The Tennant Creek Brio with Erica Izett and video (Lake of Fire) by Lévi McLean. Photo: Nicholas Gouldhurst

Shock & Ore

17 Sep 2022
Charles Darwin University Art Gallery, Coconut Studios 5 Aug - 22 Oct 2022

For the mining
Our environment
Is destroyed
Our sacred sites
Destroyed – our bush
Foods all crumbled
Up and for my people
Hunger strikes!
– Fabian Brown, Tennant Creek Brio

Shocks come from somewhere and flow somewhere else. The Tennant Creek Brio (Rupert Betheras, Marcus Camphoo, Lindsay Nelson, Joseph Williams, Fabian Brown, Jimmy Frank, Clifford Thompson and Simon Wilson) ­are engaged in acts of picking up, interpreting and re-working the debris left in their path—in the fallout zone. A constellation of materials left by the wayside of pastoralism, extractive capitalism, globalism and mining are assembled in Shock and Ore, an exhibition by the Brio split across two galleries on Larrakia Country/Darwin: Charles Darwin University Gallery and Coconut Studios.

Tennant Creek sits on Warumungu lands, in the heart of what is delineated by settler boundaries as the “Northern Territory”. In a speech at the exhibition’s opening, artist Jimmy Frank described the impact of colonial encroachment in Tennant Creek as a protracted and repeated shock. His family’s Country was known for its vast, flat and hard ground. The creation of sacred stone sites for Warumungu is connected umbilically to open sky through the ancestral figure of the flying fox, who flew through the air and made black rock (ironstone)—formations of deep cultural significance.

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