Mara: Indigenous design, politics and food culture celebrates the cultural heritage and living culture of Aboriginal people in north Queensland. In the local Djabuguy, Yirrganydji, Bulway, Nyagali and Gulay language groups mara means hand, and in this context it refers to the hand that makes, gathers, prepares and hunts.
This exhibition brings together more than two hundred traditional and contemporary artefacts used for hunting and food gathering in Far North Queensland. Many of the works on display are on loan from the Kowanyama Culture and Research Centre (a community keeping place) that has an extensive and impressive collection of rare objects and artefacts. In 2008 it was assessed as a Collection of National Significance. The Gallery is thrilled that a number of these have been loaned to the exhibition, while other works are on loan from the Cairns Historical Society and private lenders. Responding to the themes of the exhibition, a number of Cairns based artists have completed new works for the exhibition.
The exhibition presents designed objects that are used in food gathering and preparation as a large-scale installation work. Also represented are designed objects used as adornments in ceremonial and cultural practices that utilise the bones, teeth and the shells of the hunted animals.
It also highlights the continuing importance of Country to Aboriginal people, and the legal battles that were, and continue to be, fought to maintain traditional hunting rights and practices on the land and in waterways to sustain these practices.
Michael Boiyool Anning
Warwick David Snr
Payluw kana luw AKA Minh turr (Patrick Eric Snr)
Wvrrengvn Cecil Rutland
Bernard Lee Singleton
Thakvthew (Arthur Major)
Kawn yap pinal wan (Walter Greenwood)
Koch Yawrrnh (Jerry Mission)
The Cairns Art Gallery acknowledges the Gimuy Walubarra Yidinji and Yirrganydji as the Traditional Owners of the area today known as Cairns. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, names or voices of deceased persons in photographs, film or text.