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Ngurrara II / Stephen Dupont
Bib ID 7497416
Format BookBook [text, volume]
Dupont, Stephen, 1967- photographer
Printer [Sydney] : [Momento Pro]
Description [Austinmer, NSW] : Stephen Dupont, [2017] 
40 unnumbered leaves : illustrations (some colour), portraits (some colour) ; 41 cm 

In 2003 Stephen Dupont visited Fitzroy Crossing in northern Western Australia to document "Ngurrara II," a large Aboriginal desert painting on canvas created in 1997 by more than sixty Aboriginal artists to support a native title claim. Ngurrara means "country" in Walmajarri, and "Ngurrara I," their first attempt, completed in 1996 by a team of 19 traditional owners, and now in the National Museum of Australia, was regarded as unsatisfactory as a work of art, as the claimants worked separately and at varying scales on different parts of the canvas. In 1997 they produced a second more definitive Ngurrara canvas, recruiting additional artists to depict a more accurate mosaic of places and stories. After its completion "Ngurrara II" was rolled out before a plenary session of the Native Title Tribunal, where one tribunal member welcomed it as the most eloquent and overwhelming evidence ever presented. Nevertheless, the case was not decided in the artists' favour until 2007. Stephen Dupont's photographs were originally commissioned for a 28 July 2003 New Yorker article by Geraldine Brooks, "The Painted Desert," which used a visit to the community and the impending auction of "Ngurrara I" to cover the survival of the world's oldest continuing artistic tradition and the more recent trajectory of Aboriginal painting in the chic contemporary art market. The auction of "Ngurrara I" and New Yorker article may have helped to restart the stalled native title case. This book reprints a facsimile of the original article and an additional selection of colour and black and white images of the painting, portraits of the artists and claimants, other members of the community and the bush food they ate as they took the painting on a journey out to the place it depicts. The "Ngurrara II" canvas remains with the community as an important document of their history and culture, and this book was produced to coincide with a celebration of its twentieth anniversary, bringing the canvas out of its box and waking it up once again at Lake Pirnini, in the Great Sandy Desert. -Based on the article and, viewed October 2017.


"A Bordertown book." -Colophon.

Limited edition of 5 copies.

National Library of Australia's SR copy is an A/P copy signed and dated 2017 by the photographer.


Case bound in cloth printed with a colour image from the book. Black endbands and endpapers. 

Subjects Dupont, Stephen, 1967-  |  Aboriginal Australians -- Western Australia -- Fitzroy Crossing -- Pictorial works.  |  Aboriginal Australians -- Social life and customs -- Western Australia -- Fitzroy Crossing -- Pictorial works.  |  Art, Aboriginal Australian -- Western Australia -- Fitzroy Crossing -- Pictorial works.  |  Native title (Australia) -- Western Australia -- Fitzroy Crossing.  |  Documentary photography -- Australia.  |  Artists' books -- Australia.  |  Photobooks -- Australia -- Specimens.  |  Australian
Other authors/contributors Brooks, Geraldine, 1955- Painted Desert


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    Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other First Nations people are advised that this catalogue contains names, recordings and images of deceased people and other content that may be culturally sensitive. Please also be aware that you may see certain words or descriptions in this catalogue which reflect the author’s attitude or that of the period in which the item was created and may now be considered offensive.