Djon Mundine OAM has an eminent career in contemporary Australian art that includes exhibitions such as 'Sixth Sense’ (2016, National Art School Gallery, TarraWarra Biennial, 'Whisper in My Mask’ (co-curated with Natalie King, 2014). His much awarded Bungaree: The First Australian, an exhibition and catalogue of commissioned artworks by sixteen NSW Aboriginal artists for Mosman Art Gallery toured nationally (2015–16).

He is a foundational figure in the criticism and exhibition of contemporary Aboriginal art. In 1994 he co-curated (with Fiona Foley) 'Tyerabowbarwarryaou — I Shall never Become a Whiteman’, Contemporary Aboriginal Art for the Havana Biennale and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and was a curator for 'Aratjara’ exhibition (Dusseldorf, London, and Denmark, 1993–94). Other major exhibitions include 'They are Meditating: Bark Paintings from the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Arnott’s Collection’ (2008) and 'The Native Born (1996, MCA), an exhibition and publication showing ceremonial and utilitarian weaving and artistic work from Ramingining community. This led to the inclusion of artists such as Robyn Djunginy in the 1998 Sydney Biennale.

Djon Mundine was art and craft adviser at Milingimbi in 1979 and curator at Bula-bula Arts in Ramingining in Arnhem Land Aboriginal communities for sixteen years. Here he originated Australia’s greatest artwork, the 'Aboriginal Memorial’, comprising 200 painted poles by forty-three artists from Ramingining, each symbolising a year since the 1788 British invasion. The Memorial was central to the 1988 Biennale of Sydney and is on permanent display at the National Gallery of Australia.

He has held senior curatorial positions at the National Museum of Australia, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales and as curator Contemporary Art at Campbelltown Art Centre. In 2005–06 he was resident at the National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) in Osaka, Japan as a Research Professor in the Department of Social Research and is a PhD candidate at National College of Art and Design, University of NSW.


Olivia Bolton
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