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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer


Mr Grayden by Judith Yinyika Chambers


Mr Grayden by Judith Yinyika Chambers

Object information


Bill Grayden travelled through the Ngaanyatjarra lands in the 1960s. He travelled from camp to camp and photographed many people living in the area called Yuliya or the Rawlinson Ranges.

"They were looking for the smoke from the campfire then they would go to the camp and meet those people. They would collect the papa skins and give the people food and clothes. My father and mother met Mr Grayden near Yuliya. Mr Grayden travelled a long way round, through tali country. From waterhole to waterhole. Starting at Warburton, he went down Walu way and up to Tjurtjuranyarra (Circus Water)." [Judith Yinyika Chambers]

Physical description

An acrylic painting on canvas showing people and vehicles, with five waterholes running through the centre.

Statement of significance

This collection consists of thirty-three paintings produced by Warakurna Artists for a collaborative commercial exhibition with the Outstation Gallery in Darwin. The exhibition, 'History Paintings - All the Stories got into our minds and eyes', opened in May 2011.

The collection is significant as a broad and comprehensive body of work that presents a series of (related) Aboriginal perspectives on events in Australian history, some of which fundamentally challenge other accounts in the historical record. The collection documents the historical perspective of Ngaanyatjarra people who currently reside in the community of Warakurna. Contextualised by more customary mythic narratives, most of the works address historical events and provide an insight into the Aboriginal experience of contact on the colonial frontier. Taken together, from the Seven Sisters Dreaming to football carnivals in Warakurna today, the collection encompasses 100 years (and more) of history in the Ngaanyatjarra lands.

Object information

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