A rite of passage is an event that marks an important stage in someone's life, or death – a transition. During a time not so long ago, the Aboriginal population of this country transitioned from a free civilisation to a nation conquered. In the process, thousands of years of ecological and spiritual power and cultural knowledge were diminished, and many customs and traditions of our original people were lacerated – with many lost forever.
Rite of Passage is a group exhibition curated by Shannon Brett, a descendant of the Wakka Wakka, Butchulla and Gurang Gurang clans, as a response to the significance of the year 2020 – 250 years since James Cook first arrived on our shores.
Reframing the way that we perceive this year in our history, the exhibition showcases the strength of autobiographical work by eleven contemporary Aboriginal artists from across Australia: Glennys Briggs, Megan Cope, Nici Cumpston, Karla Dickens, Julie Gough, Lola Greeno, Leah King-Smith, Jenna Lee, Carol McGregor, Mandy Quadrio, and Judy Watson.
The exhibition reveals how these artists define themselves as voices of their families and their ancestors in their quest to preserve their Aboriginality. Fearless and relentless, these artists carry the fire of a culture that lives on, as the passage that they travel is no longer solitary – together they pave the way for tomorrow.VIRTUAL TOUR
Karla Dickens, 'Unspoken'. A poem written and recited by the artist.
Karla Dickens, 'Lost milk'. A poem written and recited by the artist.
Karla Dickens, 'Dark Secrets'. A poem written and recited by the artist.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences should be aware that this exhibition contains names and images of deceased people.
Rite of Passage
Saturday 7 March
artist talk with Julie Gough
Sunday 8 March
workshop with Jenna Lee
Sunday 8 March
Texta book club
Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman
Tuesday 5 May
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QUT acknowledges the Turrbal and Yugara, as the First Nations owners of the lands where QUT now stands. We pay respect to their Elders, lores, customs and creation spirits. We recognise that these lands have always been places of teaching, research and learning. QUT acknowledges the important role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people play within the QUT community.