Unfinished business: artists land rights treaty
Delve into the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ archive to explore the artist-led movement for land rights that took place in Sydney in 1981 and 1982
In the early 1980s, a group of over 500 Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, dancers, musicians, performers, poets and writers came together to stage a series of exhibitions and events to support land rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Apmira, the Arrernte word for ‘place, camp, country’, was adopted as the name for the group.
Unfinished business is a powerful display of archival material and artworks documents from the National Art Archive at the Art Gallery of NSW. It includes documents and photographs from the papers of the Apmira Festival Committee, which were donated to the Gallery by Guy Morrison, as well as music composed for one of the Apmira events. Other archival materials relate to similar events from the period, including the Aboriginal Treaty Committee’s Festival of Sydney exhibition Ab origine: from the beginning held in 1981. Artworks by Jeffrey Samuels and Reko Rennie from the Gallery’s collection further explore themes of Indigenous heritage, activism and cultural empowerment.