published: 22 Nov 2021
Mixed media installation ‘hand/made/held/ground’ (2019) metaphysically maps Croft’s patrilineal relationship to Country, reimagining customary objects jimpila (spearhead) and kurrwa (stone axe) originally created on Gurindji homelands. The contemporary representations reflect ancestral journeys - those undertaken on traditional homelands, and those returning home.
This installation was, in part, created through two residencies with Canberra Glassworks (2017, 2019) where Croft made black and red lead crystal, clear and uranium glass-cast kurrwa (stone axes) and jimpila (stone spearheads), mounted on steel bases, echoing steel bore water tanks.
‘hand/made/held/ground’ is a major body of recent work by Brenda L. Croft, a proud Gurindji/Malngin/Mudburra woman whose background also includes Australian/Chinese/English/German/Irish heritage.
Croft’s multi-disciplinary practice as an academic, artist, curator, educator and researcher spans three and a half decades. Brenda L. Croft is Associate Professor, Indigenous Art History and Curatorship, at the Centre for Art History and Art Theory, at the Australian National University School of Art and Design.
Alongside this exhibition, Canberra Museum and Gallery is showing eight works from Croft’s ‘Made in Australia II’ series, from the CMAG collection.