'A billboard exhibition illuminating First Nations perspectives of 'place' in North Queensland.'
Using the ubiquitous and popular mode of commuter advertising, the billboard, this exhibition illuminates First Nations stories of the lands traversed between Warrgamay, Nywaigi & Bandjin Country (Hinchinbrook) through Wulgurukaba and Bindal Country (Townsville) to Gudjal Country (Charters Towers). Both Ways brings together contemporary artwork and archival images to explore the larger narratives of Indigenous Australia, highlighting histories and voices that are often unheard in popular forums in North Queensland.
About the Artist
Jupiter Mosman was an Australian Aboriginal stockman and prospector. He belonged to the party that discovered the first gold at Charters Towers, Queensland in December 1871. Jupiter is credited with making the actual find. At the time he was about seven or eight years of age: ‘I had been out and found a nice piece of stone and went back to inform Hugh Mosman and he brought a pick and we dug it out, and I can assure you that is what started the mine called the North Australian.’ Jupiter was born in Western Queensland in about 1861 from where he was acquired by Hugh Mosman to work as a horse boy. His family and his tribal background are not known let alone how he came to be ‘acquired’.
‘The boy’s eyes were large, luminous, and as lipid as a planet and so he was dubbed Jupiter. As he then belonged to Hugh Mosman, that surname followed.’
Jupiter grew up at ease at Charters Towers where he continued in service to the Mosman family. He was noted for his sporting abilities that included cricket, football and running. Jupiter went on to work on pastoral stations around Charters Towers. He took special pride in being part of a droving trip to Victoria that took six months and five days to complete over the summer of 1889-1890 that never lost a hoof. Jupiter also worked as a prospector. In 1904 Jupiter discovered wolfram at Kangaroo Hills and at Stockyard Creek in the following year.
In 1917 Jupiter’s application to become exempt from The Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897 was not successful even though he was described by the authorities as ‘an intelligent old man who has been with white people all his life.’ Jupiter gradually received support from long time acquaintances and supporters to receive acknowledgement for his primary role in the gold discovery at Charters Towers. After becoming quite ill in 1928 and then becoming more frail, friends rallied to support his entry to Eventide Home at Charters Towers in 1936. When Jupiter died there on 5 December 1945 the establishment view was that his residence at Eventide had been “privileged by the government because of his historic association with the Towers”. Jupiter never married. Charters Towers rallied to raise a monument to honour Jupiter and his role in discovering the gold in 1871. The Williams Memorial was unveiled in 1953 followed by the Centenary Memorial in 1972 and the Boomerang Memorial in 1997.
Jupiter Mosman received state wide recognition for his luck and good fortune when Jupiters Casinos in Townsville and the Gold Coast were named in his honour in 1993.
This billboard exhibition will feature six billboards, with three along the Bruce Highway from Wulgurukaba and Bindal Country (Townsville) to Warrgamay, Nywaigi & Bandjin Country (Hinchinbrook), and three along the Flinders Highway from Wulgurukaba and Bindal Country (Townsville) to Gudjal Country (Charters Towers).