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Our Unbroken Line: The Griffiths Family

  July 14, 2024-December 8, 2024

  Kluge-Ruhe's Focus Gallery

Exhibition

Our Unbroken Line: The Griffiths Family is about many things. It is a big story. It is about my grandmother, Dinah Dingle, who was born before the arrival of white men and survived colonization. Her people were forced to move from their Country to cattle stations (ranches) to learn about white man’s living. They were forced to work on the stations, like slaves. The only pay they received was flour, sugar, tea, tobacco, and some clothes. They were not allowed to speak their own language on the station and were taught how to say, “Yes Mr. Boss” and “Yes Mrs. Boss.” Some still talk like that today. In 1967 after an important referendum was passed in Australia, our people were removed from stations to towns and their lives changed again for the worse.

This exhibition is about the stories before colonization. My mother Peggy Madij Griffiths was born on Newry Station and did not experience her mother’s traditional way of life. She only learned about the history of her Miriwoong people and Country from her mother and grandparents.

I am telling the world what happened to our people many, many years ago before I was born. It is much easier telling the story through art and animation and videos. These stories have been passed down from generation to generation and they will be told for many generations to come so that our great-grandchildren will know what our mother was told. These stories were not written down in any way, but passed down through storytelling and art.

This exhibition is about the many changes that occurred in our people’s lives over a short period of time. Today we are still suffering from our past. It is important that the true history of our people be told. That is why we are trying to keep our stories strong and ensure that they will be passed down to the younger generations to come.

Finally, this exhibition is about our mother, Peggy Griffiths, who is a great artist and mentor to me, my sister Jan Baljagil Gunjaka Griffiths, and to my granddaughters, Delany Ngugnuk Griffiths, Cathy Marawuk Binbirridj Ward, Anita Churchill, and Kelly-Ann Ngadjil Drill.

–DORA GERRGNGARRI GRIFFITHS, Curator

 

“Art and storytelling help us maintain an unbroken line of culture from the past and carry it into the future.”

-Dora Griffiths

About

Dora Griffiths, courtesy Andrew Seabourne, ABC Kimberley.

 

Dora Griffiths is an artist, curator and arts administrator of the Miriwoong and Ngarinyman peoples. She was born in Kununurra, Western Australia, where she lives with her five children and fifteen grandchildren. Dora has been a director of the Waringarri Aboriginal Arts board and the Chair for several years. She completed an arts-worker extension program in 2012 in which she learned art industry skills including conservation and in 2018 she earned a Certificate in Cross Cultural Conservation and Heritage from the University of Melbourne. In 2019, Griffiths participated in an Art Gallery of Western Australia internship program, and has since curated numerous exhibitions including, The Alternative Archive (2019) and Open Borders (2022), which toured regionally throughout Western Australia. In 2023 she was awarded the East Kimberley Aboriginal Achievement Award for her outstanding contribution to culture and community.

Highlights

Videos

Events

Catalog

Sponsors

Our Unbroken Line: The Griffiths Family is presented in partnership with Waringarri Aboriginal Arts and Creative Australia. It is supported
by Creative Australia and UVA Arts.

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