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Doolmarria Louise Mengil

Name: Doolmarria Louise Mengil

Doolmarria Louise Mengil - Being part of the Canning Stock Route Project [ORAL HISTORY]

Synopsis: Louise talks about her experience as an emerging curator on the Canning Stock Route Project. She explains how she has learned how to look at a painting, and about mapping paintings to the CSR. She talks about the curatorial process and what it has been like working with Wally, Terry and Hayley. She says curating is like a sport - it's competitive. She talks about her hopes for the future and how the curators have helped each other: we're all inspiration to each other.

Date: 4/12/2008
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_189_Louise_Mengil
Interviewed By: Clint Dixon
Recorded by: Clint Dixon
Location Recorded: Old Masonic Hall, Nedlands
Latitude/Longitude: -31.98/115.8

Access: PUBLIC
Full transcript:
Clint Dixon: Can you introduce yourself?

Louise Mengil: My name’s Louise Mengil. I’m 24, on Saturday. My skin group is Nangala [?] and I live in Kununurra.

CD: Since the last meeting, what have you learnt?

DLM: Heaps. I’ve learnt how to look at paintings in a different version, I’ve learnt how to compare works that are emerging, I can tell an emerging artist from a well known artist, so I’ve learnt heaps since the last trip.

CD: Can you explain how you did things differently? Mapping?

DLM: Ok, well that’s all new to me as well, but it’s all part of the experience that I’m learning. So, it was … laying the map of the Canning Stock Route was a layout to where the paintings fit in, and where the stories came in. So when we did that it was more to see what we had to play with, basically, so what paintings we could see were in each area and which country and how it related … yeah, so basically how it related to the Canning Stock Route and how we go about putting it into the exhibition.

CD: Out of the 100 plus paintings, how many are left?

DLM: Seventy-five paintings we’ve actually chosen, so far - without the paintings that haven’t come from the art centres yet, so there’s more to come and we’re thinking of having eighty paintings in the show, so we’re going to compare the new works with what we’ve got now and if it’s stronger than some work which means we have to take some out, so we can replace them.

CD: What's it like working with Wally?

DLM: It’s amazing. I’ve learnt so much from Wally, I mean, I practically now do the gallery presentation in our art centre. So, going from not knowing how to look at painting and then coming down here, learning within a week, learning so much and then going back and having that little bit more knowledge to be able to get to where I am now is huge. But Wally is an inspiration for me, he’s a hard worker, he’s like a guidance, he shows us, he explains to us, he sort of like … he doesn’t leave it all up to us. So he’s basically like a really good teacher at guidance.

CD: What's it like working with Terry and Hayley?

DLM: Personally I think they’re great and I like everything about them. They’re two different people, Hayley is very quiet and shy but also educated in a different way. They’re both older than me and they have a little bit more knowledge in the cultural background than what I have. Yeah, working close with them is good, so, I have no problems.

CD: And working with Terry?

DLM: Um … he’s funny. He’s a bit competitive in some ways, like, I consider him as a mentor as well but also a competitor, it’s sort of like doing a sport, like … doing this is like a sport as well for me. And me trying to tie in with what he knows is really, really hard, but it’s good because I learn a lot from him as well.

CD: How do you choose your paintings?

DLM: I tend to choose my paintings through connections. So I connect through a painting, it mightn’t even be by an artist who is famous, it could be an artist who’s just started off. For instance, Hayley Atkins, I connected to her paintings because she had this emotion that goes through it and I felt it from just looking at it and … when I first seen it I didn’t even know it was hers, and then when I asked it was like, it’s Hayley’s, and it was like, wow. You know, she’s got a natural … she’s a natural artist, so ... it’s more a connection thing for me, not what it looks like.

CD: You don’t go by a strong visual or stories behind the painting?

DLM: Yeah, stories definitely and um … it’s got all to do with my feelings. I guess I could appreciate a painting on my wall if I can connect and feel the emotions, the strength of it, if it’s … if it’s just something that I can see and it looks pretty there’s sort of no touch to it. Yeah, it’s more a feeling than a story background. So, yeah.

CD: How much do you know about the CSR now?

DLM: Well I know that it happened a hundred years ago and that all these horrible events that happened, about how people were moved up and down the Canning Stock Route. How a famous, painter, artist, Rover Thomas, how he ended up in Turkey Creek, or Warmun as people say. I’ve learnt heaps, considering I didn’t know anything.

CD: What were some of the funniest things that have happened?

DLM: I don’t really know, I think every day is a laugh for me. Maybe because … oh, there was one instance where Clint was bouncing around doing a ballerina dance and John singing along to it – I think that’s the most funniest thing.

CD: Where do you see yourself after the project finishes?

DLM: After the whole project? I see myself with a degree, I see myself with accreditation, with a … curator’s background and hopefully able to have the experience and knowledge to run the art centre in Kununurra.

CD: Can you tell us about your favourite painting?

DLM: The artist is Clifford Brooks, we don’t actually know what the story is, but it’s to do with the Canning Stock Route, it’s ochre based, which I’m … it’s a personal thing for me as well because where I come from ochre is used for practically everything – art, artefacts, ceremony, everything. So, it’s personal for me, but the strength of the painting and just to see the fusion of the ochre, or pigments, how it stood up against acrylics was amazing to see, I didn’t even know it was ochre until they told me.

CD: How do you help each other? [The young curators]

DLM: It works three ways. I help Hayley in trying to come out and be a little bit more … coz I can see there’s more to Hayley than what she does. I mean, I used to be that person at one stage, and um, we encourage Hayley to talk about stuff because she has every right to. She has history, background with the Canning Stock Route and it’s nice to be … she’s got strong emotions and feelings about what happened, about her country, about her family, so I sat down with her and just said express all your feelings, but use it towards anyone that wants to know about it basically, and she did, she was, wow, you know, I didn’t think she could speak that much but she did a whole day of talking and she interacted with about everyone who came through that door. And when I seen her do that I had to tell Terry to step back a bit and let her go, let her have that chance and that experience to sort of open up a bit more.

Whereas Terry, he sort of was an encouragement for me, he always used to encourage me, ‘look, don’t be shy, get up there and do an oral presentation’. There was a time last year, or in the last meet that we had, one of our artists had an exhibition down here and she wanted me to do a speech for the opening and I was like no, no, it’s so embarrassing, I can’t do it, I’d choke, and Terry was like ‘don’t worry about who’s there. Think about your grandmother, think about the work and think about your voice, tell them what you’re here to tell them’. So, he’s more of an encouragement to me, and it sort of goes down to Hayley. So I’m sort of in the middle and it’s really nice. We’re all inspiration for each other, like the whole team is great. I think that this whole project is an awesome experience for me, I see a lot of hard working people, I see fun people as well and people who’s just very laid back which I like, so, yeah.

CD: How did you get involved with FORM and the CSR project?

DLM: Well, it was funny. The position I’m in now was supposed to be for another arts broker within the arts centre. He couldn’t make it, due to whatever his excuse was, and Cathy approached me, our manager at the art centre approached me and asked me if I wanted to do it, because she didn’t want to pass up the opportunity, and I was like, well, I don’t even know what you’re talking about but I’ll go along anyway. And I’m actually glad that I did because I’m enjoying it, I’m learning stuff, I’m having experience. It’s great, it’s a great opportunity and I’m grateful that it happened to me.

CD: What's it like working with Clint?

DLM: Very fun, he’s very funny. There’s not a day you don’t go without laughing.

Source: CSROH_189_Louise_Mengil

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.

Doolmarria Louise Mengil

Doolmarria Louise Mengil - curatorial issues, family and community [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Doolmarria Louise Mengil talks about her experiences curating for the Canning Stock Route Project. She speaks about the importance of old people, and speaks at length about the social and political importance of the Canning Stock Route people for both Aboriginal communities and non-Indigenous Australia.

Date: 2009-11
Art centre(s): CSR Project
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_213_Doolmarria_Louise_Mengil
Date: 2009-11
Location Recorded: Old Halls Creek
Latitude/Longitude: -18.251269/127.782303

Cultural Protocols: Public Access
Access: Public
Full transcript: Carly Davenport: So do you want to talk a little bit, starting about this Kimberley trip, this next nine days, where we’ve come from and where we are now?

Doolmarria Louise Mengil: Okay, the first day I guess we flew in, meeting Bidyadanga trip, that was really nice. They actually drove in. I wasn’t expecting, like, old, old people I must say, their names sound like they’re very young, and through there paintings you’re like - okay I’m meeting like, maybe middle aged or people in their 40s/50s. It surprised me, Donald Moko, Jan Billycan – I thought she was actually like a 30 year old or 40 year old, but when I seen her I was like ‘Oh My God, we’re really dealing with old people’, so ... and that was great, that was great so …

That day I was like, ‘wow they’ve driven from Bidyadanga to Broome just to meet with us, that was something I can’t even explain in words basically, it made me feel so ... I appreciated every moment of that day, it was so hot, but so what, these guys travelled so far just to do this day, yeah I didn’t even recognise the heat basically.

CD: Can you describe what the point of our meetings are now like the approvals and the commissions?

LM: Yep, basically at this stage we’re showing the artists where there paintings are and how they’re connected and why we’ve put them in that section and making sure we have it corrected, and if the artists are happy, so getting their approval of where it sits and if the story’s correct and if they can sit next to a certain person and if we have the relationship with another artist corrected. I think the Bidyadanga was very happy, Jan kept talking about her story it was hilarious, Donald was very, very happy and his wife as well. The interpreters were great, I must say, the Fitzroy trip as well … being in Fitzroy was, I must say one of my favourites at this stage, I just felt SO welcome, so relaxed, so laid-back, and the artists were lovely. I admired Spider and Dolly, they are the most cutest couple I reckon. Yeah they are very, very happy I must say, we haven’t talked about the title with the Fitzroy mob but we eventually will. They were happy with how we’ve got it laid out, each trip we’ve done, each artist, each group had been just surprised on how big the project was, and that their story is going to be out there and I think they’re just like, ‘okay, it’s gonna happen’, so there’s no more doubts in their minds, they know it’s going to happen for real now, I think when they sign off those papers they sign off with such loving happiness in their hearts that were filled with telling their stories.

CD: That’s because their families are going to have access to these materials.

LM: Yeah, as well as hearing other people’s stories and recognising. Pulling into Derby to see Stumpy and it took probably the first 10 minutes, just like you know quiet, but then showing her paintings, showing her Rover and Billy’s paintings and then she was very excited when she seen Nyumi’s paintings, and listening to the song and the stories – it brought her back, she identified where she was from –she found her inner self—in that little time, in that little moment she centred. The nurses there as well could not believe what had happened in that little time.

CD: Do you want to talk a bit about the practical tangibles of some of the things that you’ve learnt along the way. We’ve had something like 12 curators meetings over three calendar years. Woo hoo! I mean, not to remember it all because that’s too much and we’ve been recording different things. But any highlights of working with Caruana and the defining of the collection—that was the first big job that the three of you had with Wally. And then that’s sort of one part, and then the second part is that the putting of the exhibition together with a big collaborative team and the National Museum.

LM: Well with Wally, we were well looked after I must say. Whenever we needed help he was there, he took us under his wing, he walked us through step by step, always guided us, tested us at some stage. It’s almost like he never let us down, we’ve learnt so much from him and I appreciate that, I’ve learnt more than I could of ever at Waringarri itself or at any art centre itself. It’s such an opportunity to be able to work one on one with a curator, with a curator who had curated so many exhibitions.

CD: What was some of the things you learnt, like when you were talking about what makes a strong painting with colour?

LM: Well I think it’s more to do with looking beyond the painting, he taught us to be able to see beyond the painting itself, listen to the artist and its story and then recognise the place and then put it into the painting, sort of thing. So not just seeing the painting but going beyond the painting itself. So, that’s kind of a really hard technique to teach someone – but we all, we all – the three of us were able to adapt really quick, and at some stages Wally would quote, you know, ‘Who’s mentoring who?’ [laughs] But yeah, I think because we’re having so much fun we learnt really quick and became a really, really tight team. I think one my favourite moments working with Wally was actually ... in Perth, we were in Northbridge, on the other side of Northbridge, yeah up in there, and we were going through ... and he was teaching us to gather paintings and hang ‘em up and you know what would go with what, and then he’d come behind and say, ‘okay that looks good, but in reality … it wouldn’t go together’. So it was, it was good. I liked it when he actually tested us – it showed that, you know, we were listening or, you know, if we needed more help in a different area, he would do that, and he’d work with us sometimes one-on-one. It was great.

CD: That was a hard job because you had something like, you know 100 and …

LM: Ninety …

CD: Yeah ... paintings, and then out of that you chose 113 different things.

LM: Yeah, it was very hard, I must say even to this point now it’s been … the most difficult thing yet [laughs]. They’re all beautiful stories, all beautiful paintings, but for this show to be able to attract so many viewers and make its point across Australia and national wide we need to be able to pick the strongest paintings and the appropriate paintings as well and artists in order for us to tell the story and get the message across the world ... I think [laughs].

CD: That’s good.

LM: So yeah, that kind of made it a bit easier.

CD: What do you think about young professionals, say you’ve got all the multimedia team on the project, and the curator team, and working with Tom and Nola, it’s sort of been a real posse of people from the different communities with all these different skills.

LM: It’s like my second family a little bit [laughs].

Nicole Ma: Can you just sit back a bit please Louise.

LM: Yo.

NM: That’s cool.

CD: I guess professional space, I’m trying to look to see leadership, and talent.

LM: Okay, Terry and Haley definitely they’ve been ... professionally, I admire them for their artwork, they’re artists themselves, and to be able to take another role as a curator. As well as being young leaders for their mob. Tom Lawford, working with Terry, him being sort of one up from Terry, and guiding Terry as well and also guiding us. Nola for guiding Haley, as well as guiding us as well, for being a young emerging elder. You know, it’s at that stage where we all need to find our place in our community and step up to the plate, and I think Tom and Nola have well and truly emerged to that. As well as professionally in this project, they’ve been great and they’ve taken on their roles and I think out of 100 I’d give them 99.9. You know, they’ve done every single thing by the books as well, in our terms, as well as their terms – the bush terms you know, their community terms. So yeah, with this project it’s just – with the guys from the multimedia group, I can see Morika going a very long way, she has the most wicked eyes – I think she can see beyond the people itself – sees right through you, she captures the most perfect moments I reckon, the most beautiful photos – yeah I love the one of Jakayu that she’s taken, it was just a moment where you can see strength, happiness and … you know ready to strive. With Clint Dixon and KJ they capture kind of movement, unique moments, very special moments. I think with them – they can read your body language so they know that the next time something good’s gonna happen, there already lined waiting. I think KJ’s a bit of a storyteller too and he’s gonna one day be an elder [smiles].

CD: Gorgeous. Do you want to talk a little bit about your favourite part in the exhibition itself?

LM: Okay …

CD: … or anything from the show and the design that has a strong message.

LM: Okay, I don’t actually have a particularly favourite part. My favourite part is the whole thing and how it fell together and how it melted like butter and bread basically. But I must say the Rover Thomas story as well as the [XX - ?] story - they’re one of the stories which really could capture a lot of people. So, with the Rover Thomas story it will show people that this artist is not originally from the Kimberleys, but he was taking from [XX - ?] and, you know, travelled up to the Kimberleys where he had lived, and um, where his brother had walked up to Well 41 and saw a massacre, and turned around, and in his heart believed that his brother was still alive. I think that’s magical and spiritual in every kind of way. And with the [XX - ?] part it’s a very sacred part, it’s an area where the people itself look after and is also protective of, it’s a place where you can only talk so much about it. And it shows people that it’s a boundary that even the TO’s or the traditional owners for that Country will not break or will not trespass itself, so the amount of … it’s … really hard to explain really, but I think this is one of the things we have worked towards and we’re still working towards, is how about we would go in telling our viewers about [XX - ?] itself, where you can only say a certain part of it and not say another part of it.

CD: About the Aboriginal clause …

LM: Yeah, yeah.

CD: That’s good … Nicky can you think of anything?

NM: I guess I’d just like to ask that again, from the whole exhibition, you know you worked so hard on it and everything - and a lot of different types of people are coming to see it - what would be the one thing you would hope that they would take away from it?

LM: One thing I hope that the viewers take away from it is that, to acknowledge that these people have come from so far, have lived a long life, have lived past the history itself and have adapted to the life that we live today. And also to see that we don’t interpret with English, there’s so many ways that we can interpret and these artists are interpreting through their paintings as Clifford Brooks has quoted. It’s hard to be able to tell their story because it’s not that easy, no one’s gonna understand their languages. They are telling their stories through their paintings so I think that’s one thing that we all need to acknowledge. To be able to say that we are different and we’re never going to be the same but this is our story about the Canning Stock Route and this is how we’re telling it, so ... I mean even if people just take away that little bit, it’s a huge step, ‘cause they’ve gone into that exhibition and they’ve taken something out – even if it’s the most tiniest thing – but it’s most important to see that, it’s not one way of interpreting or telling a story it’s so many different ways and this exhibition explains so many levels and so many hard years of working with artists and everybody itself. So yeah [smiles].

NM:Yeah, that’s really good.

LM: Cool [smiles].

CD: Anything else you wanna say?

LM: [shakes head and laughs] Nope.

CD: When’s lunch! [laughs]

LM: I’m not really actually hungry, I don’t eat in the heat.

CD: Yeah.

LM: Yeah, I drink more water though.

NM: Can you just talk a little bit about the fact that this is going to be a capsule of history, you know, that’s going to be conserved by the museum and if you think that’s important and why?

LM: Well it’s important in both worlds, in the Aboriginal world and the [kartiya] world. I mean, it’s the advantage for Aboriginal people to tell their story. And it’s also the advantage of Aboriginal people in teaching their younger people in a different way … their traditional way, as well as the modern way in which they have adapted to and it’s also telling [kartiya] people that it’s a story that should have been told a very long time ago. And it had destroyed, and had not destroyed so many families, I mean it had its advantage and its disadvantage. It’s also telling everybody that these old people are willing to do whatever it takes to show them that they’re still here and telling their story, that 100 years ago this had happened and we remember, and it has knowledge been passed from one person to another, you know their great great grandparents have told them their story, you know, some of these old people are 80, so some of these old people have experienced this trip, some young people haven’t, so we have young people like Clifford Brooks, who haven’t actually experienced it, but have heard it, and took it into account and put it onto a canvas, and … public programs, I mean, I myself had finished Year 12 and not had not heard any part of this Canning Stock Route and I think it should be told ... [smiles] … yeah.

NM: Great.

CD: That’s good.

LM: Cool.

NM: Perfect.

CD: This will help us to keep track of people’s thoughts and then weave this together into one special story next year.

Video format: DVD/MiniDV/Quicktime movie
Video recording: 106 Kimberley Approvals, Tom, Louise IV's, Nov 09; 107 Kimberley Approvals, Louise, Hayley IVs, Nov 09
Source: CSROH_213_Doolmarria_Louise_Mengil
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Doolmarria 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.

Murungkurr Terry Murray, Hayley Atkins, Doolmarria Louise Mengil


Murungkurr Terry Murray, Hayley Atkins, Doolmarria Louise Mengil - curating the Beijing send-off [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Murungkurr Terry Murray, Hayley Atkins, and Doolmarria Louise Mengil discuss the process of selecting works and curating the show for the Beijing send-off at the Perth Town Hall in 2008.

Date: 2008-06-13
Art centre(s): CSR Project, Martumili Artists
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_197_Murunkurr_Terry_Murray_Hayley_Atkins_Doolmarria_Louise_Mengil
Date: 2008-06-13
Location Recorded: William Street, Northbridge
Latitude/Longitude: -31.95/115.85

Cultural Protocols: Public Access
Access: Public
Full transcript: [Can you describe the process of how you selected the paintings?] Doolmarria Louise Mengil: First of all we went, all three if us, as well as Wally assisting us, go through a whole lot of paintings and picked out most of our star paintings, which are the strongest paintings within the show, and we managed to pick out twenty odd works I think it was. Then we decide how it was going to look on the wall as well as the story, how it would interact and how we were going to put it up. Have you got anything to add to that Terry or Hayley? [What happened during the day?] LM: As the mini-launch exhibition for Beijing? We got to see the paintings for the first time stretched and our job for that day was to actually set up the exhibition and to give sort of an insight to the Australians and what it’s going to look like over in Beijing. It was a very long day. [How did you work out how to hang the paintings?] Murungkurr Terry Murray: Yeah, Hayley and Louise and I were trying to figure out how to make it really strong and eye catching to the public, and how it’s going to be hanging in Beijing. So it was, yeah, all day yesterday trying to put the balance of work, you know, from the nine different art centre about twenty artists and three big collaborative works, so it was … yeah, the help of Wally assisting. And just trying to make it really strong, how it’s going to be hanging in Beijing. [Can you explain the snake?] TM: Oh like, what Wally was saying about you can’t have the small work and a medium sized work and a large work because you call it the wedge, wedgie … from our mentor and overall curator was giving us a bit of insight on trying to make every work balanced and trying to make the show large work, medium work … balance of work, how to. LM: Give the audience basically a rhythm to what the works … how they sit on the wall. The colour difference as well, I mean you’ve got some paintings which have really dark, dull colours but are also strong, and then you’ve got these beautiful bright pink and purple and stunning bright colours that really bounce at you, so you’re trying to … it was really, really hard, I mean we’re trying to put all these paintings to sit with each other and most of them were very colourful, but then we had to balance it out and also have a special rhythm to the wall so we didn’t have audience getting bored, and making sure that we didn’t have two paintings with the same story on the wall, so it was a long process. Hayley Atkins: And how the painting all sits together. [Was it a bit stressful? Was there tension between you?] TM: Well, every time I wanted to hang a work, the girls started to complain and they had to bring it down and we had to try and … and I was asking them first and saying, ‘oh well it’s up to you’, but I was just pulling works and trying to … you know when you look through the gallery space, the entrance, you had to have the balance of work and the outside wall had to have that even line of … strength of how the colours, you know Louise was saying, the colours and the storyline. But, yeah, it turned out alright and we had to show the peace [piece?]. LM: Oh Hayley and I were okay, we were pretty much laid back. But then, like, as the day got later and we didn’t have all the works in place, it was really, really hard, it was very stressful then, wasn’t it? And then ‘cause we had short time as well to go and get ready and come back, so it was more of really tension, concentrating a bit more and … I call it the backbreaking, it was really hard, but we managed, we got together and we managed to get through it and … it turned out to be a stunning little exhibition. [How did you feel when you first walk in?] LM: Relieved and overwhelmed. I don’t know how you guys felt bu t… I thought it was amazing and just to see what it looks like there, I mean it’s not even a quarter of what we’re going to really hang, so to see those paintings hang beautifully in a space where it wasn’t much of a space is going to be amazing in the National Museum of Canberra in 2010, with all the other art works. How do you guys feel? HA: I feel really happy ‘cause how we worked really hard and played with all the paintings and putting it all together, and trying our best to make it work out and stand out. It worked. TM: I was, yeah, really fulfilled that throughout this project we are working as curators as Louise and Hayley and I had to hang the works, and when the gallery space was full, you know like most of these organisations and a lot of other … BHP sponsor and a lot of Government sponsor and people who are coming to the exhibition, had said who hang the show, who was involved in it? Yeah, they were really surprised to see us coming from different organisations, different art backgrounds, and how the young curator team and they were really excited that we were involved … with the FORM team. And yeah, I was really pleased about all those work we were hanging, and really gave their own strength. But it, you know, it’s just a quarter of the works that are going to Beijing, but the next two years we are still working on the bigger picture of this Canning Stock Route. [Were you surprised at how they looked stretched?] LM: Not so surprised, more excited. I mean, we always knew that they were going to be a beautiful piece in the end, but just excited to see exactly what they were going to look like when they were stretched, and they looked stunning. And, I must say, the vibe that we had within the exhibition was awesome. I mean it was very hard in hanging the paintings and, not only we had assistance with Wally but we also had assistance with the paintings, the art works. I mean, if it wasn’t the art works that were so strong it would have been too hard to be able to hang something and being able to have some art work a bit stronger than the others sort of played it all out as well. [How did you feel talking to people? Listening to speeches?] TM: Well for me I was, yeah, I was relaxed and just … had a good time and, like … like the young curating team, what we were saying, and Wally speaking on behalf of FORM and the Canning Stock Route Project was really … really excited that, yeah, I’m part of the team. LM: I was happy and moved. By the speeches as well as just … just about everything, the vibes, the hang, but most of all the speeches put the icing on the cake basically. TM: And yeah, Hayley had to steal the show because … yeah, just standing in front of everyone and I was really … really praising her on because I was just … you know, Hayley and I and Louise we’re on the ground with all this nine art centre and coming from … coming from a different organisation and expressing what we do, like, on the ground and professionally in hanging all this work, it’s come a long way and we have to show that we are part of history and part of what we do in our profession. [Hayley, how did you come up with the speech? (They talk about it)] HA: As I was on this Canning Stock Route trip and I learn a lot of things from old people that was talking to me and telling me all these Dreamtime stories and … ‘cause I didn’t know, I don’t know what they was painting and I didn’t know anything really ... I was learning from them. And, learning how they survived in the desert and dancing and keeping their culture strong and I wanted to tell the audience about that, our background, Aboriginal people and how we related to that land. They painting stories about their great, great grandfather’s Country, their dreaming and keeping it strong and important to the younger generation, like us. I was happy to get up and talk for the whole nine art centres because we all in one talking about the canning stock route. [Talking about Hayley’s ‘one voice’ line] LM: Yeah, we all come together and have one big voice, carry one big voice. That was mind blowing, yeah, that was amazing. But you could tell it wasn’t a speech written up, you could tell it was deeper than that, it was something … you could tell her connection within the art centres, within the people and … it’s great that she was able to do it because there was no one else I’d rather actually … I would rather Hayley or Terry had the speech, I wouldn’t have wanted to do the speech ‘cause I’m actually learning from these two as well to how their traditional old people lived on their Country, it’s completely different to my background and it is great that she got up and spoke. It shows where she’s coming from. [Terry talking about the team and Beijing] LM: Watch out Beijing. TM: I like to say something. How the curating team and the camera crew team, I think it’s started to get stronger throughout from last year to 2010, to where the bigger picture’s gonna be even more stronger in our minds and our hearts are going to grow with this project and it’s going to be mind-blowing. And the Beijing Olympics is just a … LM: Tip of an iceberg TM: A little piece of the puzzle that’s going to bring wider audience to the bigger picture, but it is gonna be, history’s gonna speak for itself and the team is gonna get more stronger. And everybody else is gonna shout! LM: Actually there is one more thing terry, we didn’t acknowledge Tom [Putuparri Tom Lawford], he also assisted us. I mean, not all of us knew stories about each paintings and he assisted us with putting labels up to the right paintings, so that was the most important part as well. So thank you Tom. HA: And thanks everybody. END
Video format: DVD/MiniDV/Quicktime movie
Video recording: Tape 37
Source: CSROH_197_Murunkurr_Terry_Murray_Hayley_Atkins_Doolmarria_Louise_Mengil
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Murungkurr Terry Murray, Hayley Atkins, Doolmarria 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.

Doolmarria Louise Mengil

Language Group(s): Mirruwong
Community: Kununurra
Art Centre(s): CSR Project, Other
CSR Project role: Emerging Aboriginal curator
Skin Group: Nangala
Country: Binjin (Bucket Springs)

Biography: Louise is a Mirruwong woman from Kununurra. Her skin group is Nangala. She began working on the Canning Stock Route Project in 2007, and has played an important part in helping to shape the Canning Stock Route collection as one of the team’s co-curators. Louise lives in South Hedland, where she works as a Employment Development Officer for Job Futures.

Photographer: Tim Acker
Photograph date: 2009
Photography copyright: © FORM
Format: Image
Source: Images - Catalogue
Category: People
Accession ID: 20131016_FORM_MIRA_B0090_0005

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.

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