Road to Old Kirkimbie Homestead

Billy Duncan, Australian, 1941 - 2020
Jaru
Gurindji
Kununurra
Kimberley region
Western Australia
Australia

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2003

Ochres on canvas

Overall: 47 1/4 × 35 7/16 in. (120 × 90 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of Will Owen and Harvey Wagner

2009.92.34

Geography

Place Made: Australia, Oceania

Period

21st century

Object Name

Painting

Research Area

Painting

Not on view

Label

Using a dramatic palette of black, red, yellow, and white ochre, this painting depicts a “rugged bush track” surrounded by two mirrored mountain ranges, a path that Aboriginal people used to navigate the terrain. The road leads to Kirkimbie Station, where Duncan worked for many years with cattle as a stockman. This painting can be seen as an interlayering of Aboriginal and colonized space.

Duncan’s art is inspired by his work as a stockman, the drowning of his country from the creation of Lake Argyle, and the struggle for Indigenous land rights at Wave Hill. During the Wave Hill Walk-Off he delivered critical supplies to his Gurindji countryman. The seven-year strike resulted in the return of a portion of their land in 1975. The walk-off also catalyzed the first legislation for Aboriginal people to claim land title, though it was not until 2020 that the Gurindji were granted Native title.

From the 2023 exhibition Layered Histories: Indigenous Australian Art from the Kimberley and Central Desert, curated by Amelia Kahl, Barbara C. & Harvey P. Hood 1918 Curator of Academic Programming

Course History

Geography 31.01, Postcolonial Geographies, Erin Collins, Fall 2023

Exhibition History

Layered Histories: Indigenous Australian Art from the Kimberely and Central Desert, Amelia Kahl, Curator, 5 August 2023 - 2 March 2024, Citrin Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire.

Publication History

Stephen Gilchrist, editor, Crossing Cultures, The Owen and Wagner Collection of Contemporary Aboriginal Art at the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2012, p. 94, Fig 9.1.

Provenance

Red Rock Art, Kununurra, Western Australia, Australia; sold to Will Owen (1952-2015) and Harvey Wagner (1931-2017), Chapel Hill, North Carolina, date unknown; given to present collection, 2009.

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