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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer


'Mustering' by Veronia Lulu, 2007


'Mustering' by Veronia Lulu, 2007

Object information


"This one is about mustering all around, Langan, Ngarlku [Rabbit Hole], Kiji, Pirrngan Pirrngan rock hole, Kirlwa, Lira, Kurntukuta, Paruku, Len's Bore, Stafford Bore, Bulbi, Yunpu, Kilangkilang, C25 [Nyarnajarra]. They would muster to C25 and then straight out to the desert, the Canning Stock Route. This is a map of the work they were doing around the rock holes and yards." [Veronica Lulu]

Physical description

A square painting on brown linen with a yellow-brown background and a wavy blue U shape with two curved or wavy lines extending off it. The background is covered in beige, black, green, brown and violet dots. The blue shape is covered in blue dots with white and brown concentric circles at the edge and on some terminal points. Along the edges of the blue shape are rows of dots in red, white, orange and black. A stamp and text on the top left corner reads 'Cat # 161 / form. / The / Canning / Stock / Route / Project'and text on the left side '45 x 45 VL/161/PAR' with '3' at the bottom left corner.

Statement of significance

The Canning Stock Route collection is comprised of 125 works and includes paintings, drawings, baskets, boomerangs, coolamons, headdresses, carved figures and shields.

The Canning Stock Route is a no-longer-used cattle droving route that traverses the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts of central Western Australia. Comprised of 48 wells along an 1800 kilometres stretch of track, the route links Wiluna in the south with Sturt Creek in the north and traverses the traditional lands of nine Aboriginal language groups. The route was founded in 1905 when Alfred Canning was commissioned to investigate a route suitable for the droving of 500 head of cattle, with water sources spaced at intervals of no more than one day's walk apart. Although Canning's map records observations of the land and water resources, it makes no mention of Indigenous places and their associated meanings which the route traversed. This collection, composed of 'painting stories', sculptural works and oral histories, re-dresses Canning's omission and records the impact of the stock route on Indigenous lives and country. A six week journey with traditional owners held in July and August of 2007 inspired the artworks, many of which were produced during the journey, and provided an opportunity for more than 70 senior and emerging artists to reconnect with traditional lands..

Object information

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