Kyana Gallery & Keeping Rooms

The Kyana gallery and keeping rooms evolved and developed without any financial assistance from Governments to acquire any materials including the artworks and artefacts.

 

The gallery tributes the deceased artists of the Carrolup mission known as the ‘’little black fingers of the bush child artists’’ who became internationally known and regarded as their works were exhibited overseas the most noted being Revel Cooper, Reynold Hart, Parnell Dempster, Milton Jackson and others.

 

The gallery proudly exhibits a wide range of these artists works  as they became older artists especially Revel Cooper and Reynold Hart works.

 

The gallery is the foundation for the cultural and spiritual aspects of the work of the Dumbartung organisation it is the link between the healing knowledge utilised by the Kootamaiara Quab women’s program as well as our cross cultural initiatives and advocacy roles.

 

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The gallery is a hands on experience for cultural learning this knowledge is taught through the interpretation of archival photographic images and artistic expression both in the traditional and contemporary aspects.

 

The gallery promotes extensive exhibits and displays of significant and rare artefacts from the South West region of the Nyoongah people these objects are in excess of 300-400 years old.

 

There are artefacts and artworks from across Australia displayed alongside bush medicine and ochre displays including a massive array of flint objects including grinding stones and Kangaroo cloaks (Bookahs).

 

There is a wide collection of Western Australian prison art the most extensive collection in any one gallery in Australia.

 

During November 2010 the gallery was awarded a significant assessment by the National Library of Australia and the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

 

This deemed the collection to be of a high significance to Australian history and it’s peoples.

The gallery evolved from the repatriation initiatives of Dumbartung including donations and specific acquisitions from auction houses and other means.

 

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The following is a statement that was noted in the recent review of the collection by noted and respected Museum consultants Dr Brian Shepherd and Mr Paul Bridges;

 

‘’The Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation collection of Aboriginal cultural material housed at the Kyana Cultural gallery and keeping rooms has high national, state and local significance for historic, aesthetic, scientific and social/spiritual reasons. Whilst most items lack recorded provenance  the origins may be determined by further consultation, research and comparison with provenance artefacts held in state institutional and private collections.

 

The volume and variety of material collected, housed and displayed is a remarkable achievement in its own right. Many items are rare and exceptional.  It has been a privilege for the consultants to access such an outstanding collection of Artefacts and artworks.’’

Dr Brian Shepherd and Mr Paul Bridges.  November 2011

 

The gallery has a visitor’s book that contains numerous entries from its many varied visitors who have come from all over the world. Some examples from the 1999 visitors’ book are (names remain anonymous):

  • “Amazing! There are no words to describe the heart in each piece”
  • “Words cannot describe it.  Pride and joy are but a few”.
  • “A credit to the spirituality of Aboriginal culture”
  • “An exciting introduction to Aboriginal culture”
  • “Thank you for opening my eyes”

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‘’The old spiritual guardians of the swamplands, the hills, salt lakes and wetlands the leaders of the Banksia and Zamia ceremonies, maintaining the four skin groupings within the two moieties the white cockatoo and the crow.

 

The custodians of the red wilgi sites(ochre) the blood deposits of our totemic animal existence , where human form merged wrapped in the seven ancient bookak cloaks of the Yonga’s.

 

Protecting the fire bringer’s blinding flame of endurance and the Rainmakers sacred shell conjuring up massive thunderstorms , lightining bolts and rains.

 

Protecting the dignity of the songs of the Kyana site tendering the ashes of our great campfires covered in the sacredness of our burial robes, dislocating the hip structures and placed towards the rising sun.

 

Their great spirits of wisdom and truth resting momentarily on the burning colours of the Moodjah tree, a glimpse into the great journey into the bedore.’’  ( Afterlife)

Robert Eggington-  March 2009 Hamburgers For Masterpieces