Nevada Museum of Art

We Were Lost in Our Country

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How was it that a painting came to be used to establish Native Title over 32,300 square miles of Australia’s Great Sandy Desert? It’s a question at the narrative heart of Tuan Andrew Nguyen’s video We Were Lost in Our Countrya moving image artwork that forms the curatorial springboard for the Nevada Museum of Art
exhibition of the same name, curated by senior curator of contemporary art Apsara DiQuinzio.

Nguyen’s powerful 2019 video documents the making of the Ngurrara Canvas II (1997), a spectacular painting,
measuring approximately 26 x 32 ft. Painted by a group of 40 men and four women from the Walmajarri,
Wangkatjunga, Mangala and Juwaliny communities and language groups, it is a map of Country and ancestral land, used in the court hearing that was held in Canberra as proof of their land claim.

The exhibition itself pairs Nguyen’s 32minute video, in its US premiere, with a selection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander paintings from the Museum’s permanent collection. Artists featured in the exhibition are from the Great Sandy Desert, within the Western Desert region of Australia, with some involved in the painting of Ngurrara Canvas II, which took place at the Pirnini outstation in the Great Sandy Desert’s Kimberley region in 1997.

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2024-06-29 to



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Posted by Kris Vagner

Kris Vagner is Double Scoop’s Editor & Publisher.