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Anthropology Museum - Fragile First Impressions

A remarkable exhibition of Indigenous rock art from the Western Arnhem Land Plateau is now open at The University of Queensland’s Anthropology Museum.

The photographic exhibition, Fragile First Impressions, shows artists' interpretations of their encounters with buffalo hunters and miners at a northern frontier in the mid-late Nineteenth Century.

Preparing the exhibition involved connecting Aboriginal oral histories with written reports from non-Aboriginal sources and material from an archaeological site on the Alligator River floodplains.

In one case an extremely accurate connection has been made.

When the surveyor David Lindsay and his party crossed the Arnhem Plateau in 1883, he recorded how they spelled their horses for four days and cast away a fishing net and saddle bags.

Just 10 years ago a site with clear depictions of the cast off material and Europeans, horses and guns was found a few kilometres from David Lindsay’s camp. 

The exhibition is complemented by objects from the UQ collection demonstrating the incorporation of novel materials into Aboriginal social.

UQ News story

Fragile First Impressions

Fri 19 Feb 2016 10:00amFri 29 Jul 2016 5:00pm


Anthropology Museum