Reserved for Healing
Reserved for Healing


Mae Ganambarr

Jack Langford

Kaninna Langford

Ruth Langford

Josie Mason

Warren Mason

Michelle Maynard

7 – 20 March 2020 (reduced presentation period due to Covid-19)

Opening 6pm, 6 March 2020

Location: Contemporary Art Tasmania

Intergenerational knowledge and cultural exchange in Lutruwita/Tasmania.

Reserved for Healing was developed through Contemporary Art Tasmania’s ongoing commitment to support walantanalinany palingina’s core aims, one of which is to build on the cultural, artistic and related employment capacities for our local First Nation communities. The exhibition was generously supported through the Australia Council’s Chosen initiative – a program that aims to ensure the passing on of artistic and cultural knowledge from older generations through to younger generations.

Our families’ stories and experiences mark our lives.  They inform and form who we are.  The past shapes the way we respond to hardships and trauma.  The Reserve for Healing exhibition uncovered our experience of hearing the impact of our families being removed from Country into reserves and missions.  We felt into these stories and sensing the grief of our old people that tore at the depths of our spirit.  This project enabled us to work with the next generations, our children, so that they can know our story but find pathways and traditions that have the potential to transform the pain into strength.  Healing the wound of the past to ignite the passions of our future.

Jack Langford – Yorta Yorta – is the subject of documentary photography he self-directed to allow the camera to bring full attention on a concentrated experience of being on Country. He also employed the same strategy to explore the nuanced (and at times destabilised and complex) identity of being young, Aboriginal and connected in an urban context. Ruth and Kaninna Langford have also developed an intervention and performance work that is grounded in ways of healing.

For Josie Mason – Yuwaalaaray, Yorta Yorta – rather than focus on an end product – whether tailoring trousers or dying mass-produced hoodies and t-shirts – it is the whole process of time spent with her father, Warren Mason, gathering she-oak, blue gum and blackwood from on the family block of land, learning what’s what, lighting the fire and making the dye’s, being smoked and hearing the stories. This is what matters for her. The being and the making – and knowing where and what these true earthy colours come from.

Mae Ganambarr – Datiwuy, Trawlwoolway – has worked with her mother, Michelle Maynard, developing the concept of ‘The Reserve,’ to explore the theme of visual memorialisation specific to the lived experience of the Cape Barren Island Reserve.  Drawing on their family to sample the concept in its entirety, it is not just the objects, it is also the stories and emotions expressed in the process and the response of family and community to seeing the work and creative manifestation of a family story.

This project has been supported through the Australia Council’s Chosen initiative.

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