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A Place Based Contemporary Art Festival
1-18 August, North Queensland, Australia
Gurambilbarra Townsville

Thursday 1 - Sunday 18 August 24 hrs

Indentured

Gail Mabo

Indentured is a major new public art installation by Gail Mabo. The work illuminates the often unacknowledged and sometimes suppressed Queensland history of South Sea Islander indentured labour in the early colonial era, which is part of the artist’s matrilineal family heritage. In the installation these people become present and unavoidable in the Gurumbilbarra / Townsville CBD.

The installation - mounted on the façade of the 1887-built Bank of New South Wales building - is in direct conversation with the bronze statue, not 50 metres away, of Robert Towns, the namesake of ‘Townsville’. Towns was a leading figure in ‘blackbirding’ trade in Queensland in the late 19th century. It is estimated that statewide, over 62,500 Melanisan people were trafficked and forced to work in the sugar cane fields and maritime industry, by unscrupulous characters like Towns, between 1863 and 1904.

Duration: 24hrs.

About The Artist

Gail Mabo is a multidisciplinary artist working across sculpture, installation, printmaking, and painting. Her work often connects Torres Strait Islander Knowledge and political histories including that of her own family to manifest contemporary advocacy. Storytelling and sharing Culture are important to her work.

In 2018, she co-curated the exhibition, Legacy: Reflections on Mabo, which toured nationally for four years. For her most recent exhibition, House of Cards, Mabo mined her personal and emotional archive to speak to the socio-political climate of three generations of powerful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The immersive installation premiered at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts in Gurambilbarra / Townsville in 2021 and toured to Rockhampton Museum of Art.

In recent years Mabo has been commissioned to create major new works for Tarnanthi and AGNSW. Both commissions were subsequently collected. Her work is also held in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, National Gallery of Australia and Artbank, among other collections of national significance.

Location Details

The old Bank of New South Wales building (across from Townsville Bulletin Square and Cowboys Leagues Club): 337–343 Flinders Street, Gurambilbarra / Townsville, QLD Australia 4810.

View the interactive PUNQ Art Trail Map for directions.

Venue Accessibility
  • Nearby accessible parking.
  • Nearby accessible public transport (bus stations).
  • Nearby street drop-off points.
  • Assisted wheelchair accessibility, outdoor viewing.
  • Signage indicating it is a PUNQ program.
  • Venue is close to accessible public bathroom facilities (located in Townsville Bulletin Square) that offer wider doors, adequate floor space to move around in the bathroom, and fixtures designed for comfort including hand railings and low-effort tap handles.
Pricing

This event is free.

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Enter Site

PUNQ respectfully acknowledges the Wulgurukaba of Gurambilbarra and Yunbenun and the surrounding groups of our region; Bindal, Gugu Badhan, Nywaigi, Warrgamay, Bandjin and Gudjal as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we gather, share and celebrate local creative practice. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first people of Australia. They have never ceded sovereignty and remain strong in their enduring connection to land and Culture.

PUNQ respectfully acknowledges the Wulgurukaba of Gurambilbarra and Yunbenun and the surrounding groups of our region; Bindal, Gugu Badhan, Nywaigi, Warrgamay, Bandjin and Gudjal as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we gather, share and celebrate local creative practice. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first people of Australia. They have never ceded sovereignty and remain strong in their enduring connection to land and Culture.

Stay Up To Date
Producer
Umbrella Studio
Principal Partners
Sponsored by
Media Partner
Townsville Bulletin

PUNQ is produced by Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts. The festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and receives funding from Creative Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund. Townsville City Council is a funding partner of PUNQ.