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Bethany Thornber: Mumula Gillang - Grandfather Story

Bethany Thornber
Mumula Giilang - Grandfather Story
Murray Art Museum Albury, 2016
Image by Simon Dallinger

Emerging artist Bethany Thornber invited visitor to see and hear Mumula Giilang, a vivid and personal story passed on to her by her Grandfather.

In this exhibition Thornber re-created the experience of being lost in her Grandfather's stories - and her own personal journey of retracing her Aboriginal heritage and immersing herself in Wiradjuri culture. This multidimensional artwork filled two rooms with three dimensional hand crafted sculptural pieces, natural elements, and an overlay of voices and sounds.

'Through this work I sought to experience and understand the life of this young Aboriginal boy growing up on the bank of the Lachlan River. It revealed a much slower and simpler life with few luxuries and more hardships. It was a childhood spent in an outback town in Western NSW living in a tent with his beloved mother and his thirteen brothers and sisters.However I found it interesting that he never complained about his life or lack of material possessions. He discovered that there was great contentment to be found in the little graces of life, such as love, family, stories and bicycles'. - Bethany Thornber

About the artist

After completing high school in 2014 in Corowa, NSW, Bethany Thornber completed an artist residency with Aboriginal artist Lorraine Connelly-Northey. Under Connelly-Northey's mentorship, Thornber completed a 12 meter sculptural work which featured in MAMA's opening exhibition 'Wiradjuri Ngurambanggu'.

In 2015 Bethany received a $10,000 Young Regional Artist Scholarship by Arts NSW to undertake a six month Aboriginal arts and culture mentorship with artist Treahna Hamm. This experience continues to build Bethany's understanding of traditional First Nations art making, along with contemporary art practice, and resulted in the body of work entitled Mumula Giilang - Grandfather Story.