Descendants of the members of a Purfleet band in 1909 have placed their hands and finger prints on a huge painting copied from an historic photograph at Manning Regional Art Gallery this week.
Families of the people in the photograph were invited to work with renowned Aboriginal artist, writer and curator, Djon Mundine OAM, who has been artist-in-residence at the gallery this week.
Djon encouraged family members to work with him on the artwork with dot painting and they were able to place their finger prints next to their relatives on the painting for posterity.
Members of the public are invited to watch Djon and his helpers at work until next Monday. When completed the painting will be donated to the people of Greater Taree and exhibited for NAIDOC Week.
The people in the painting are Bert Marr, Fred Dumas, Bob Bungie, Lena Bungie, Harriet Neville and Hazel Bungie (see page 2).
Local artist and photographer, Julie Slavin assisted Djon to transfer the photograph onto canvas and under paint it with a light ochre. Julie, was able to watch the young relatives on a sentimental journey into their history while working with a highly motivating artist and teacher.
Djon Mundine was born in Grafton, a member the Bandjalung people. He is currently the Indigenous Curator “ Contemporary Art at Campbelltown in Sydney.
He has taught art history at Wollongong and Sydney universities and TAFE and is the author of art books, ˜The Native Born’, ˜They are Meditating’ and ˜A Personal History of Aboriginal Art’. He was awarded an OAM in 1993 and was Research Professor at Minpaku Museum of Ethnology in Osaka during 2005-06.