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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer

4

'My Country' by Sheila Friday Jones, 2007

2008.0041.0057

'My Country' by Sheila Friday Jones, 2007

Object information

Description

Sheila Friday Jones has painted Country around Mungarlu, which is south east of the Jilakurru (Durba Hills) gorge complex on the Canning Stock route.

"I come from the desert with my three brothers. Our family come from Mungarlu area. We went [through] Carnegie Station, me and all the old peoples. They used to steal the mirrka [food] from the whitefellas just to keep us going. Georgina Brown's mother was travelling with us, she's my sister. We were the first ones to walk into town. One tracker was following us round and round because old people been stealing mirrka. But we were a little bit tricky for him." [Sheila Friday Jones]

Physical description

A dot painting on canvas in a grid pattern of concentric dotted circles connected by one straight line which is flanked by two curved lines. There are four vertical lines of five concentric circles in yellow and silver, orange and brown, green and red and blue and yellow over solid black rings. The connecting lines are black with white edges. The spaces between the grid pattern have been filled with dots in orange, green, grey, yellow, red, brown, blue, maroon, and black. On the left edge of the canvas is the measurement '100 x 124.5' in black marker plus '126' in blue pen. On the back of the canvas is a stamp with the text 'Cat # 126 / form. / The / Canning / / Stock / Route / Project' and text in black marker which reads 'Tjukurba Gallery / Sheila Friday-Jones / 08-52'.

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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