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Barkindji/Paakintji peoples

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia born 1963

Scar tree, Barkindji Country 2011-14
Collection Title: having-been-there
Place made: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Materials & Technique: photographs, chromogenic print, colour pencil, watercolour, synthetic polymer paint Support: canvas
Impression: AP #2
Place Published: Adelaide

Dimensions: image 65.0 h x 175.0 w cm Framed 1002 h x 1778 w x 37 d mm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2016
Accession No: NGA 2016.178
Image rights: © the artist
  • Purchased 2016

Water, its lack and misuse, is an enduring preoccupation in the work of Cumpston. She has begun in the last few years to focus directly on traces of Indigenous occupation and land use, around Nookamka, or Lake Bonney, which receives and feeds water into the Murray-Darling river system. Cumpston, a Barkindji woman, is culturally connected to this river system: she has explained that 'I can feel the presence of our ancestors, and I listen to my feelings as I spend time in these sites'. Her experience of Country is encoded in the prints themselves through her working method. She shoots on black-and-white film, which is then scanned and printed digitally before being handcoloured. The materiality and temporality of the analogue process, both the original black-and-white film and the act of handcolouring, are metaphors for Cumpston's experience of place.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra