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Tuesday 23 July 2024

Puthurraka Mpaa (Proper Talk)

10 June 2022 - 10 July 2022

Puthurraka Mpaa (Proper Talk)

Ricky Emmerton

Ricky Emmerton, Kalkatungu Molonga Warrma (Kalkadoon Molonga Corroboree), 2021, Acrylic on cardboard, 120 x 75cm.

Ngai Kalkutungu yuru (I am a Kalkadoon man). Kalkatungu describes the language and Indigenous people from the Mt. Isa region in north-west Queensland. Kalkatungu is the proper pronunciation while “Kalkadoon” is the anglicised version. Kalkadoon has become the name for our people who share common lands, customs and beliefs. Having grown up in Townsville I am also part of this community, as are many Kalkadoon people. Puthurraka Mpaa means “proper talk” in the Kalkadoon language. Talking properly is talking respectfully, truthfully and with good manners.”… ~ Ricky Emmerton

Ricky Emmerton’s paintings for Puthurraka Mpaa are part of his Masters of Philosophy in Creative Arts at James Cook University. The university project is titled “Awakening Kalkadoon Art: A New Dreaming,” which involves researching Kalkadoon art and culture. The project aim is to find a balanced approach to researching family knowledge combined with and compared to historical, anthropological and archaeological studies.

The paintings combine the styles of Kalkadoon rock art, body art and artifact decoration. The first three paintings on cardboard document the designs, symbols and patterns recorded by the anthropologist W. E. Roth in the 1890’s. Emmerton wanted his work to be more archivally-sound so began to paint on canvas. Also at this time, he was fortunate to reconnect with his Uncle Jimmy.

He is a wise and respected Kalkadoon elder. He is now passing on his knowledge of Kalkadoon Dreaming stories to me. These later works on canvas are guided by my Uncle Jimmy and depict the Dreaming stories. My paintings are a spiritual connection to our land and culture in a material form; “A New Dreaming” that communicates in a proper way. This exhibition, Puthurraka Mpaa, is an extension of words, of talking and writing about Kalkadoon culture in the form of contemporary painting.” ~ Ricky Emmerton

Emmerton's work is held in the Artbank Collection in Sydney and was showcased in the exhibition From Where We Stand, a selection of landscape paintings from the Artbank collection, curated by Tony Stephens in 2018.

Exhibition opening 6pm Friday 10 June - full details here.

An Umbrella Floortalks will take place 10am Saturday 9 July in conjunction with this exhibition and others on display 10 June - 10 July 2022.

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Umbrella asks that visitors adhere to social distancing, visitor logs, and other COVID Safe directives and procedures as directed.

More COVID Information

Open Hours

Tues - Fri: 9am-5pm

Sat - Sun: 9am-1pm

Gallery closed Mondays, public holidays and during exhibition install weeks.

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(07) 4772 7109

408 Flinders Street,
Gurambilbarra (Townsville),
Qld, 4810 Australia

PO Box 2394,
Gurambilbarra (Townsville),
Qld, 4810 Australia

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Acknowledgement of Country

Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts 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.

Umbrella is a Dealer Member of the Indigenous Art Code. This means we are committed to fair and ethical trade with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, and transparency in the promotion and sale of artwork. As a Dealer Member and signatory to the Code we must act fairly, honestly, professionally and in good conscience in all direct or indirect dealings with artists.


Umbrella is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy, and by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments. | Umbrella is supported by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and receives funding from Creative Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund. | Townsville City Council is a funding partner of Umbrella's program.