A Collaboration Between Badger Bates, Justine Muller and the Wilcannia Community
Barka, the forgotten River reflects the love artists Badger Bates and Justine Muller have for the Barka, or Darling River – “our mother and the blood in our veins” – and its people, the Barkandji.
Indigenous peoples across the globe looked after their environment in a sustained manner for thousands of years; nowhere was a system so sophisticated than with the first peoples of Australia. Throughout time conventions, world summits, protocols have tried to protect her, our environment, our habitat, to little or no avail. At a local level, the exhaustion of the individuals fighting on their own ground, in this case to save the Barka-Darling River, is palpable.
Badger and Muller ask us to listen, and act. Their works are not of despair, they are works of strength, compassion and resilience, and through them they invite the rest of Australia to partake in a story that is no longer local but global. -Ineke Dane, Curator
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We acknowledge the Wonnarua People as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land within the Maitland Local Government Area. We pay respect to all Aboriginal Elders, past, present and future with a spiritual connection to these lands.