The Aboriginal experience of the impact of the world's longest cattle migration route is told in a remarkable reproduction exhibition of contemporary paintings in ‘Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route – Images of Aboriginal Australian Western Desert Art’. The exhibition is touring around Russia and the Embassy’s other countries of accreditation until 2019.
The Canning Stock Route was used in the first half of the 20th century for droving cattle through 1,850km of Western Australian desert from the Kimberley to the southern Goldfields region. A story that until now has been told mainly from a non-Aboriginal perspective, it became a frontier narrative about the making of Australia, but the voices of those who it impacted the most were often absent. For the region’s Aboriginal people, the stock route cut through lands already full of story and rich in culture and history. This story is told in the exhibition.
The National Museum of Australia developed the exhibition in partnership with the arts group FORM, which initiated the four-year project involving artists, traditional custodians and emerging Aboriginal curators and filmmakers from across Western Australia.
The exhibition provides a rich perspective on both Aboriginal history and art history and is not only about contact and conflict, but also survival and reconciliation.
Further details about the original exhibition: