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on the bank on the brink

on the bank on the brink, Murray Art Museum Albury, 2021. Image features Tommy McRae and Phil Murray Photo Jeremy Weihrauch.

on the bank on the brink was a gathering of significant drawings from nineteenth-century, Aboriginal artist Tommy McRae and works developed in 2021 by First Nations artists Mia Boe and Phil Murray.

Through simple yet expressive line, Tommy McRae’s drawings documented a time when traditional Aboriginal life was first intersected by colonial invasion in the Upper Murray River region. McRae’s vivid scenes of ceremony, corroboree, hunting, and fishing cast a retrospective lens on cultural life when his Country along the banks of Lake Moodemere, Wahgunyah was in rapid dispossession from his people.

The ‘act of recovery’ in which Mia Boe described her practice resonates with the truth-telling of McRae’s drawings in tracing the aftershocks of historical trauma on First Peoples. Boe’s paintings parallelled the sensitivity of McRae’s works as they balanced the elongated figures and silhouetted animals that came together to act out scenes within the landscape.

Moulding burnt and blackened trees into sculptural tools for gathering and carrying, Phil Murrays act of retrieval and revival spoke to the lesser-known wood carving practice of Tommy McRae.

This exhibition presented a selection of new works by Mia Boe and Phil Murray, presented alongside works from the MAMA Collection by Tommy McRae.

Exhibition Images

Tommy McRae

untitled, c 1835 - 1901, installation view,
on the bank on the brink, Murray Art Museum Albury, 2021.
Photo Jeremy Weihrauch.

Mia Boe

The Ashes Were Buried Under the Tea, 2021, acrylic on linen,
on the bank on the brink, Murray Art Museum Albury.
Photo Jeremy Weihrauch.

Phil Murray

Coolamons on Fire, 2021, installation view,
on the bank on the brink, Murray Art Museum Albury.
Photo Jeremy Weihrauch.

Exhibitions