A clan’s ancient history is vividly brought to life in a Brisbane art show.
Belinda Miller

7 Jul 2016 - 2:24 PM  UPDATED 8 Jul 2016 - 11:46 AM

Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall was washed with colour today in a unique pop-up Indigenous art show, featuring traditional burial ceremony poles.

It will run for three days, giving Queenslanders a chance to experience the vivid work of various Larrakitj artists from Arnhem Land during NAIDOC week.

Yirrmal Marika, one of the Larrakitj artists, said the poles told stories which went back thousands of years.  

The stories represented his people’s history, which had been passed down by word of mouth through many generations and were still alive today.

Traditional owner Kerry Charlton, who gave the Welcome to Country, said she was thrilled at the exhibition.

“They are very much contemporary art sculpture these days and that’s what I love,” she said. “We have this pop-up exhibition celebrating our culture, showing that we are forever adapting our culture and it’s the oldest on the planet.

“These poles tell very old Arnhem Land stories but today they are in a pop-up exhibition in downtown Brisbane.”

Mark Ryan, Assistant Minister of State Assisting the Premier, said it was the first time such art installations had gone outside Darwin.

“It’s a brilliant thing for Queensland,” he said.

The event is a forerunner of  the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, in which six Queensland finalists will know how they’ve fared when the winners are announced on  5 August.

Telstra supported NITV coverage of the NATSIAAs.