11 March - 7 August 2022

Kirrenderri, Heart of the Channel Country presents a visually striking and narrative rich exhibition chronicling extraordinary stories from one of the most remote locations at the very heart of Australia. Channel Country is renowned as an intersection for Aboriginal trade networks that connect the continent. Revelations of the age and scale of sites in this landscape are evocative and lead to a reimagining of the deep history of this country.

In June 2019, the Mithaka people of Southwestern Queensland met with collaborators in Toowoomba to create a substantial cultural mapping project. At the meeting, distinguished researchers from the Australian National University, University of Queensland, the Alice Duncan-Kemp family and University of Queensland Anthropology Museum, discussed how best to conserve this unique environmental and cultural heritage.

A mustering plant, from Alice Duncan-Kemp's first book Our Sandhill Country, 1933. Photograph courtesy H. Spring.

This rich resource of knowledge is presented in Kirrenderri alongside objects donated to the University of Queensland Anthropology Museum by author Alice Duncan-Kemp (1901-1988). Duncan-Kemp’s family owned and ran Mooraberrie cattle station on Channel Country and this exhibition highlights stories by the author through Indigenous perspectives.

Rarely seen collection artefacts, historic and contemporary photographs, letters, maps are featured, as we as recently discovered archaeological artefacts from several key quarry sites revealing important stories from the past, including what now appears to be the largest Aboriginal quarry in the world. With over 25,000 individual quarry pits documented in 3D with fixed wing drones, revealing the dramatic scale of this site.

Kirrenderri, Heart of the Channel Country is a timely exhibition illustrating the cultural and aesthetic riches of the Mithaka region of Channel Country which underscores historic milestones and the resilience of relationships forged on Channel Country from the late 1890s to the present between Aboriginal and pioneering families.

 

Teaser image: Stone arrangement on Mithaka Country, September 2021. Photography by L. Mechielsen.