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Black Mist Burnt Country

Black Mist Burnt Country

Testing the Bomb. Maralinga and Australian Art
A Burrinja national touring exhibition

Black Mist Burnt Country is a national touring exhibition of artworks by over 30 Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists commemorating the British atomic tests in Australia in the 1950s.

Selected from both public and private collections the exhibition features artworks from the past seven decades, including Albert Tucker, Arthur Boyd, Ian Howard, Pam Debenham, Toni Robertson, Rosemary Laing among Aboriginal artists such as Jonathan Kumintjarra Brown, Judy Watson, Hilda Moodoo, Yvonne Edwards and others.

Presenting works across the mediums of painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, new media and music, while exploring the varied perspectives and creative approaches of artists from post-WWII modernists to present-day artists.

Black Mist Burnt Country exhibition revisits the little-known history of the British atomic test program at Maralinga, Emu Field and Montebello Islands and examines the impact on people and land, as well as its on-going legacies.

A variety of interactive elements enables visitors to the exhibition to learn about the social, political and environmental dimensions while placing the Australian atomic tests in the context of the nuclear arms race and its present-day realities.

Public Programs
ArtLab with Alicia Jones
Sat 10 June | Session 1: (5 – 10 years) 10am – 11 am $10 | Session 2: (11 – 16 years) 1pm – 2pm $15 | Bookings recommended

Exhibition Catalogue
The Black Mist Burnt Country exhibition catalogue is available for purchase at the gallery information desk or online HERE.


Educational Resource Reader and Teacher Information
A 40-page educational resource is now available for educators. The brochure was developed by Dr Jo Clyne at the History Teachers Association of Victoria, and has been tailored for secondary school students and adapted to the curricula in VIC, NSW and QLD. It covers various topics, ranging from Hiroshima, the history of British atomic tests in Australia, Indigenous Culture and Land Rights, environmental and health impacts, protest movement to Australia’s nuclear future. The resource is recommended for students studying History, Geography, Art or English in Levels 9-12. Please click below to access the resource.

Education Resource

JONATHAN KUMINTJARRA BROWN, Frogmen, 1996, synthetic polymer paint, natural ochre and sand on canvas. Copyright: artist estate
PAUL OGIER, One Tree, 2010, carbon pigment on rag paper. Copyright: the artist
HUGH RAMAGE, Taranaki,2014,  oil on canvas. Copyright: the artist

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program. It has received development assistance from NETS Victoria’s Exhibition Development Fund Grant, supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

Further financial assistance was received from Gordon Darling Foundation. The project is supported by Anangu Pitjantjatjara people in Yalata and Oak Valley Maralinga, in partnership with Yalata Community Inc.

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This event is part of our Indigenous Program, proudly presented by Bond University.

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