Morika Biljabu, KJ Kenneth Martin, Clint Dixon
Clint Dixon, KJ Kenneth Martin - favourite paintings and CSR Project [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Clint Dixon and KJ Kenneth Martin talk about their favourtie paintings and the way the Canning Stock Route Project is important in telling blackfella stories and history. Clint hopes that kids will learn about it in schools.
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_192_Morika_Biljabu_KJ_Kenneth_Martin_Clint_Dixon
Location Recorded: National Museum of Australia, Canberra
Cultural Protocols: Public Access
Notes: Morika Biljabu doesn't speak in this interview.
Full transcript: [Multimedia team talk about how they're feeling]
KJ Kenneth Martin: I don’t know. What I seen is not much talking, you know what I mean. I’m going to get back at these guys, because we’re here to record them and they’re not really doing much talking about these paintings or anything like that. Only when the camera off they start, that’s what she thinks, she said real quietly.
Clint Dixon: Yeah, I reckon this things getting stronger. At least they’ve got some sort of structure now, at least they know where they’re going, at this point.
KM: What else?
[KJ's favourite painting - Richard Yukenbarri]
KM: I don’t know why I picked this photo. Can you see that, camera … shot … painting? By Richard … Richard what? Yukenbarri? Yeah. I don’t know, I’ve been on the Canning Stock Route and that just reminds me of being back there, you know? Even if it’s not about the Canning Stock Route, is it? Yeah, it is too. Between [Well] 33 and … and all these white dots that are like a wave, to me anyway, is all them sand dunes.
[Clint's favourite painting - Jan Billycan]
CD: It’s like Patrick’s one, but after you keep coming back too much to choose from and more keep catching your eye. You know, like this one, this trip now, this one here keeps catching my eye. Is that the right way? Yeah from Jan Billycan. Yeah, I don’t know it just keeps catching my eye on this trip. But I can’t explain why I like this painting. Yeah, I suppose it’s to do with the colours, pattern, just how she does it. It looks like hills and mountains and rocks and things. But I just like … I don’t know, just the colour and pattern catches my eye. Also, like I said the Patrick Olodoodi one and also the one KJ had up earlier on. Same … it reminds me of sand dunes, like when the wind blows, leaves sort of like a lining pattern. So, yeah. Like I said, with every trip you keep coming back there’s always one that keep pulling you and so much to choose from … and they’re all good.
Nicole Ma: Do you want to be curators?
KM: No! Too much hard work, can’t do it. I feel sorry for you guys when this thing gets a bit tighter than this.
CD: I reckon I’ll probably end up colour blind, all these different colours. Yeah, I reckon too much to choose from.
KM: Yeah, it’ll get really hard right at the end. When you’re selecting the last main ones, all the things you have to think about when you’re selecting them, like what they were talking about today, like is it relevant to the Canning Stock Route? Does it tie in with another one that … say Well 37 does it … is there a story for that back here, you know, and it’s in that language group, sort of thing. Like they all got that one big Dreamtime story and that one there joins up with this one here and then this one here joins up with that one there as well. Which one out of those three do you choose, you know? Like, this one got its story which is same as this one which is same as that one. And they all good paintings and then you have to choose only one, which is going to get really, really hard, that’s why I can’t see myself being a curator. All this would be in the exhibit.
CD: It’s probably the same as what we do. Cataloguing, choosing what material to use that’s good.
NM: What's important to you? (In terms of the Canning Stock Route Project)
KM: The blackfella story is I suppose, of what the Canning Stock Route really is all about, you know. Like, it’s not what it’s made out to be in the Western world, you know, they get educated that it’s this great big breakthrough getting all this cattle and stuff down there, but I suppose they don’t know all the killing and stuff like that, you know. And the ties to the land, you know, Aboriginal people they belong to the land, you know, they belong to the land and they look after the land and then this happened and … I suppose that’s something. Oh, this thing here is something good that the world can see, the Aboriginal Indigenous story, you know, what happened to them to have this stock route.
CD: I reckon it’s good, about time something like this … especially for the Kimberley mob, don’t know, I didn’t know anything about the Canning Stock Route, you know. This … like good learning, people need to know this history as well, you know, instead of just … like mainly when you’re going to school you don’t learn nothing about this sort of stuff, you hear about the Canning Stock Route but you don’t hear the behind stories, like how it ended up being the Canning Stock Route. This is … I reckon this is going to be good, people are going to listen, you know, understand. Especially most of the white Australians need to know where we are, where we from, you know, really. They’ve gotta stop living that denial, that Aboriginal people was here, instead of we come across from Asia or wherever, you know. You’ve still got most of the people who are still living that denial that we’re not from here, but we are. And we also tell our stories through our paintings and that’s the only way we can express our feelings, what happened, our story, our families and things like that. I reckon this is a good learning point for everybody once it gets out. Like, I learnt a lot, just being here with all the crew and stuff like that. But, yeah, we gotta be recognised as well, where we come from.
NM: What kind of audience do you hope it will attract?
CD: I hope it will attract a lot of them. Hopefully this will go down into schools as well for learning purposes, history. Not only … ah … I’m getting lost now, nervous. Yeah, hope this also goes into schools and people can also learn as well, the white side and the black side of the history. ‘Cause there’s a lot of things that needs to be opened, you know, and once this gets out hopefully everyone will be able to learn to get along more better together, instead of showing so much hate and stuff like that. So as long as you get two stories, you’re right.
Video format: DVD/MiniDV/Quicktime movie
Video recording: Tape 46
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Morika Biljabu, KJ Kenneth Martin, Clint Dixon; © 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.