Doolmarria Louise Mengil - favourite painting, Canning Stock Route history [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Louise talks about her favourite painting by Eubena Nampitjin and the things she'd like people to come away from the exhibition with: the living Aboriginal history and power of peoples experiences.
Art centre(s): CSR Project
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_190_Doolmarria_Louise_Mengil
Location Recorded: National Museum of Australia, Canberra
Cultural Protocols: Public Access
Full transcript: [Louise talks about her favourite artist. Reads story]
It’s going to be harder for me I guess. Basically, I don’t have the connection, like personal connection, like the other two curators so … but my personal favourite, one of my personal favourite is Eubena. So basically I’m just going to read what she’s given us as a story of her painting. This particular painting represents the country from Well 33 to Well 35 on the Canning Stock Route. The lines in the painting represent sand hills and the circular shape near the centre of the canvas represents a large rock that belongs to the … is it the dingo as in the Dreaming? And you pronounce it Kinyu? So yeah.
[Monique La Fontaine asks Louise if she wants to talk about the protector?]
Not necessarily. Not really, no I’m not that confident enough to speak what they’ve spoken. I didn’t catch everything they said, so all I remember them saying was that Kinyu is a protector of the land and it was like a mother. I think that’s right. That’s it.
[Louise says why it's her favourite painting]
I don’t know, um, it just seems like I have a strong connection to it. There’s something about her that strikes me. I mean, I chose Clifford Brooks as one of my favourite paintings, but there’s something about her that empowers me, she inspires me and the way she tells her story just … it makes me feel more inspired and when I look at her painting. I don’t see her as an old lady, I see her as a young, beautiful woman that travelled through the Stock Route and … yeah, when you read her story out it doesn’t seem like it’s coming from an old woman, it seems like it’s coming from a young woman. I guess, she, yeah, she just … there’s something about her that just grabs me, as soon as I’ve seen the paintings it just grabs me. And I think ‘cause it’s closer to where I am as well, and that some of my old people have connections to ladies in Balgo and Ringasoke [?], so, yeah.
[Louise says what she'd like the audience to come away with]
Well, first of all, the history of the desert, where these people have actually come from, before the Canning Stock Route and after the Canning Stock Route. What they’ve been through and … yeah, basically how they lived before the time of the Canning Stock Route, after they’d lived the Canning Stock Route, during it and as well as now. And, yeah, and to see how strong they stood. They amaze me, they’ve gone through so many events that half of the people now have never experienced and, yeah they show you emotions that literally I know I feel and made me a stronger person to. So basically the understanding of it.
[Louise talking about what the audience takes away emotionally]
Well everybody is different basically, so for me it showed me a stronger side, a sad side, a very happy side and um … and an adventure. So I guess it depends on who the reader is and how interested people are. Anything else?
Video format: DVD/MiniDV/Quicktime movie
Video recording: Tape 46
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Louise Mengil; © FORM, transcript only
Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.